March 27, 2017
From the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
Bayley comes out to the ring and asks the crowd if they are ready for WrestleMania. She talks about being allowed to order the show on PPV as a kid but now, she is no longer a fan but in the show. She talks about the odds being stacked against her in the Fatal Four Way match but Charlotte Flair interrupts. Charlotte asks Bayley if she really dreamed about heading into WrestleMania as the paper champion. She then talks about defeating Sasha Banks at Roadblock: The End of the Line and putting her out of the title picture until she started playing Bayley and hints at Sasha using Bayley to become champion again. Charlotte promises to walk away from WrestleMania as the five-time champion then shows us a tweet from Sasha, reading keep your friends close as she warns Bayley that Sasha will stab her in the back. Sasha comes out and accuses Charlotte of just stirring the pot and that they are friends but at WrestleMania, business is business and she will win. Nia Jax interrupts and is sick of hearing about all their names and likens their actions to “high school drama” as she promises to win the title and give it a permanent home. Charlotte then tells Nia the only reason she is in this match is because Sasha did not protect Bayley in their match last week then Sasha attacks Charlotte and that triggers a ball as Cole tells us they have a tag team match tonight right before they cut to commercial.
Really more of the same here to hype up this WrestleMania match as Charlotte tries to stir up feelings between friends as she tells Bayley that Sasha is playing her with Sasha getting mad at Charlotte to reignite their rivalry. The segment
Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte & Nia Jax
Sasha and Charlotte spill outside while fighting over a lockup. They head back inside where Sasha hits a Thesz Press then works a strangle hold. Charlotte escapes and tosses Sasha outside then Sasha tries to pull Nia off of the apron but that fails. Nia tags as Sasha escapes trouble before tagging herself. They hit Nia with a double dropkick then Nia overpowers Bayley. Charlotte tags back in but Bayley fights back until missing a crossbody from the middle rope. She works a chinlock for a bit then Bayley escapes trouble and makes the tag. Sasha runs wild and gets two with a crossbody but Nia makes a blind tag and ends up knocking Sasha off of the apron before the commercial. The match returns with Sasha getting worked over. Nia tags in and tosses her across the ring then hits a pair of elbow drops before working the neck. The announcers talk about the odds being stacked against Bayley at WrestleMania as Charlotte tags and stretches out Sasha, who escapes with a headscissors. Charlotte prevents a tag at first but gets shoved into Nia on the apron as Bayley tags in and runs wild. Bayley runs into a knee smash but ducks an attack and gets two with a Saito suplex. Charlotte cuts Bayley off of the top rope then targets the leg and tries for the figure eight but Sasha breaks that up. Nia catches Sasha’s leap from the apron but Sasha slips out and runs Nia into the post. Sasha is up on the apron as Charlotte distracts her then Bayley hits the Bayley-to-Belly for the win (12:58) **1/2. After the match, Nia attacks Sasha & Bayley from behind and lays then out before picking up the Women’s Title belt.
Thoughts: A basic match that was better after the commercial. I expect that to be the theme tonight among those competing at WrestleMania with no one risking injury by doing anything too crazy They really stressed Bayley’s storylines heading into the Women’s Title match like having the deck stacked against her and possibly being too caught up in the glitz and glamour of WrestleMania.
We are shown Triple H’s attack on Seth Rollins from two weeks ago to hype tonight’s “Hold Harmless Agreement” contract signing for their match at WrestleMania.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Sami Zayn and asks how it is without his mentor, Mick Foley, on RAW. Zayn talks about how Foley said its not his job to stand for what is right and announces that he will be going to WrestleMania and entering the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and dedicates his performance to Foley. Stephanie McMahon interrupts and tells Zayn he will have to earn his way to WrestleMania and wants that trophy on RAW but first has to beat Kevin Owens tonight in a No DQ Match and if he loses, he will be fired. With Foley no longer their to abuse, Stephanie seems to have a new target in Zayn.
Austin Aries vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox
Neville is on commentary and stares down Aries when he came out. Aries immediately dropkicks Dar in the face then yells at Neville as we head to break. The match returns with Dar stomping on Aries in the corner. Aries fights back but gets rammed into the corner then Dar gets two with an uppercut. Neville promises a quick win at WrestleMania then Aries drops Dar with a tilt-a-whirl slam in a spot that did not seem to go as planned. Aries kicks Dar outside then flies out with a tope before hitting a neckbreaker between the ropes. Fox yells at Aries and says she does not like his face as Dar sneaks in a rollup for two. Aries fights back and hits a rolling elbow then yells at Neville if he liked that before using the Last Chancery for the win (7:30) **.
Thoughts: The action was nothing special but Neville was good on commentary and they put over the Cruiserweight Title match at WrestleMania quite well. The crowd was into Aries a bit too.
We get a clip from last week with Triple H telling Rollins to show the fans who he is and sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement” to fight at WrestleMania. Rollins is then shown on one crutch walking backstage as he is here to give his answer.
Back from commercial, Rollins comes out to the ring, which is set up with a desk and two chairs. He gets a good reaction from the crowd. Rollins tells Triple H to come out and get this done as Triple H comes out with the agreement. Triple H tells Rollins if he attacks him before he signs, the match at WrestleMania is off as he wants Rollins to sit and listen to all the rights he is signing away but Rollins orders him into the ring so he can sign. Triple H wants him to sit but Rollins just stares straight ahead then says the match is off unless he sits down. Rollins sits as Triple H says “good boy” then tells him what the contract means. Triple H sits down and asks Rollins why is being successful a bad thing and if people hating you in the locker room means you are making money. Triple H then tells Rollins a one-legged man has never won an ass kicking contest and he will not be the first. Triple H said he gets not wanting to miss a second WrestleMania in a row but if he signs this deal, he will be walking into WrestleMania but guarantees he will not be walking out. Rollins tells Triple H this is the same line of “bullcrap” he bought three years ago but learned during rehab he liked himself before meeting him. He also did not mind wrestling for a “hotdog and a hand shake” at the Philadelphia Armory because he enjoyed it and says this match at WrestleMania is about redemption as he tells Triple H he better rip off his leg and have an ambulance standing by because nothing is going to stop him from tearing him apart. Rollins then signs the deal as Triple H kicks the desk into Rollins’ bad knee. Triple H knocks Rollins down and grabs the crutch but Rollins comes back with an enziguiri then tries for a Pedigree but Triple H gets out and chops the leg. Rollins is then able to backdrop Triple H over the top rope as the latter tried a Pedigree and hits him with the crutch as Triple H retreats while Rollins can barely stand up.
This did not do a great job at hyping up their match. Triple H’s promo just did not click at all. Rollins got the crowd back a little at the end but they were silent except for a brief period of silenced “CM Punk” chants.
We get a video to hype up the Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania.
After the break, we get clips from the Hold Harmless Agreement signing.
Over the Top Rope Challenge
Big Show and Jinder Mahal start out. Jinder tries to take Big Show out but gets tossed in twenty seconds. Bo Dallas runs out but Show beats him down then tosses him out. The Shining Stars come out next and double-team Show briefly until they both get backdropped at the same time. The Golden Truth and Curtis Axel run out next as everyone else previously eliminated run in to toss out Show, who comes back in and takes everyone out, except the Goldent Truth as they bail (3:02). However, Braun Strowman comes out holding a mic. He talks about going down there now and destroying him but the fans want that and he does what he wants so they’ll all have to wait until WrestleMania.
Thoughts: A segment designed to hype a potential Big Show vs. Braun Strowman confrontation at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are backstage with the new interview guy. The promise to remain RAW Tag Team Champions as they make fun of Enzo Amore & Big Cass.
We get a brief vignette of the Undertaker shoveling dirt in the cemetery.
Charly asks Reigns about the Undertaker. He does not believe in the mind games and will tell the whole world what he is going to do to the Undertaker.
A video package of the New Day at the New York Stock Exchange then
Mike Rome is with Cesaro & Sheamus. They talk about not caring about facing long odds but get ambushed by Gallows & Anderson. They ram Cesaro with a ladder as he is sent into the stacks backstage.
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
Neville works a side headlock on the mat after a tussle but Gallagher escapes. Gallagher kicks Neville in the corner then gets two with a rollup. Neville side steps a charge then plants Gallagher with a release German suplex on the rebound as we head to break. The match returns with Neville in control then Gallagher runs into him with a headbutt. Gallagher grabs the umbrella and heads up top and flies out with a seated senton. Back inside, Neville yanks Gallagher by the tights into the corner then takes him outside with a super kick. Neville follows with a superplex then puts Gallagher away with the Rings of Saturn (7:32) **1/2. However, we get an “Austin Aries Network News” special report backstage as he is with the New Day who say he will win the Cruiserweight Title at WrestleMania. They tell Aries a man’s success is determined by how well they move their hips but Aries wants them to be serious then starts mimicking the New Day’s Title dance as they all celebrate as Neville is shown sarcastically giving a gold clap in the ring.
Thoughts: Solid match. They devoted a lot of time to hyping the Cruiserweight Title match and it should be good. Its also going to be on the Kickoff Show too and hopefully they get enough time to show what they can do.
Another video package on the Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar feud to hype their appearance tonight.
Roman Reigns comes out to the ring. He stares at the crowd for a minute then talks about winning the Royal Rumble match here in 2015 and went on to headline WrestleMania. However, this year he is going to put down the Undertaker then calls out everyone else as he does not care what they think as this is his time and the sold out arena tonight is this house. Reigns says this is his yard then we hear the gong as the Undertaker’s voice is heard as a video on the Titantron appears with him at the cemetary digging a plot for Reigns. He then tells Reigns he will fall as a tombstone lists WrestleMania’s date for Roman Reigns career. The lights go off in the arena and when they return the Undertaker appears and tells Reigns at WrestleMania, he will rest in peace.
I liked Reigns promo here but the Undertaker stuff all came off as hokey and at times embarrassing to watch. This did not make me more excited to see their match in any way.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Galllows & Karl Anderson is supposed to take place but Sheamus & Cesaro attack Gallows & Anderson from behind with a ladder on the ramp then head in and start brawling with Enzo and Cass. Anderson & Gallows come back and take out everyone with the ladder.
We get a segment on Maya Angelou to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Charly is now backstage with Kevin Owens. She asks him about his match tonight against Zayn and at WrestleMania against Chris Jericho. Owens admits he was a Jericho fan as a teenager but Jericho was right in making fun of him for that as Jericho fans are morons and if he knew what Jericho was like back then he never would have wasted his parents money on his merchandise. He then talks about salivating over the chance to end Zayn’s career so he can head back home and tell his family he is a failure then will one-up Jericho at “KO Mania 2” and will turn the Ultimate Thrill Ride into Jericho’s ultimate demise. Good promo by Owens to hype up tonight’s match and his match against Jericho at WrestleMania.
Another replay of Triple H’s attack on Seth Rollins during the “Hold Harmless Agreement” signing. We then get a video package on the history between Rollins and Triple H. This video package was great.
The announcers run down the entire WrestleMania card.
No Disqualification Match: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
If Zayn loses, he will be fired from RAW. Owens immediately attacks Zayn and destroys him in the corner. Zayn fights back and clotheslines Owens down. Owens rolls outside and chops Zayn, who followed him out. Owens knocks Zayn off of the barricade when he tried a moonsault off of the barricade. They head through the crowd and now on the ramp near the announcers table. Zayn runs off the ramp and takes Owens out with a tope con hilo as we head to break. The match returns with Zayn in control as they are at ringside. Zayn tries a move off of the steps but Owens rakes his eyes and hits a DDT. Owens hits a senton then rolls Zayn back inside. Zayn fights back with an Exploder in the corner then hits his rope dive DDT to Owens on the outside. Back inside, Owens cuts off a Helluva Kick with a super kick and gets two. Frogsplash gets two. Zayn fights back with the Blue Thunder Bomb then Samoa Joe runs out to ringside and grabs a chair but Jericho’s music hits and he lays out Joe with the chair from behind as Owens sees Jericho and flips out then Zayn sneaks up from behind with a school boy and gets the win (11:00) ***. Jericho then chases Owens away from the ring with a chair as Owens & Joe retreat. Jericho has the mic and puts Owens on the “List of Jericho” for betraying him.
Thoughts: Good match and I liked the end with Jericho coming out to help Zayn out when Joe arrived. It was good last minute hype for the Jericho vs. Owens match and with Zayn winning and not being fired his storyline with Stephanie will progress from here.
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out to the ring. Heyman pauses until the chants for Goldberg lessen before telling us the Universal Championship is the “holy grail” of the WWE. Heyman also says Lesnar wants, needs, and even lusts at that title Goldberg has. Heyman applauds Goldberg for coming into the WWE and succeeding unlike Sting and says he is truly “the man” but his client is the beast and will destroy him at WrestleMania. He then mentions how WrestleMania is soldout and thanks Lesnar for that before telling Goldberg that he will be going to Suplex City and after WrestleMania, the Goldberg chants will end for good. Goldberg then comes out and says since they cannot bring Philly to WrestleMania, lets bring WrestleMania to Philly. Lesnar runs out but Goldberg spears him in the aisle. He then grabs his belt and takes off his shirt and poses on the middle rope to end the show.
Heyman cut a pretty good promo here but the crowd was not into Goldberg much at all and the lack of reaction at the end was noticeable. They did not even show the crowd when Goldberg posed at the end, instead zoomed in on him and the belt.
Final Thoughts: As expected, a basic hype show for WrestleMania. It was more angles and video packages than action but they gave a lot of focus to the RAW matches at the PPV and its for the best. The lack of heat in the final segment is probably alarming to the company but they at least have more momentum than they did last year heading into WrestleMania. Next week’s show will certainly be interesting and highly anticipated.