After I pretty much swore that Finn Balor would return last week, was tonight the night he finally reappeared on Monday Night Raw? But what else was on the card? WrestleMania is rapidly approaching, and the card is becoming clearer. Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker has been confirmed, will the Dead Man appear? That would be cool, especially if tonight ends up being the night that the demon rises. Plus! Mick Foley had to fire someone. Who is Foley firing, or rather… who is firing Foley?
Monday Night Raw Review: The Demon Rises
The show opened with the man that will be winning the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar, and his advocate, Paul Heyman. I don’t really have to tell you what happened here, you already know. Heyman stood in the ring with Lesnar, looking terrifying as always, and hyped up how Lesnar would beat Goldberg at Mania.
The crowd started chanting “Goldberg” and Heyman schooled them. Sometimes I wonder if Lesnar even listens to these promos. He just stands there, menacingly, while Heyman makes magic happen with his microphone.
What else is there to say? Heyman sold Goldberg vs. Lesnar, and Lesnar looked like the scariest man alive. Though I do miss the days when Lesnar would ruin jobbers. Oh well.
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
Before the next segment, something interesting happened. I don’t usually cover backstage stuff, but this was interesting. Stephanie McMahon told Mick Foley that he had to find one person to fire before the night was over. It’ll be interesting to see who Foley picks, and what that means for them. Are they just going to SmackDown?
Sasha Banks w/Bayley vs. Dana Brooke w/Charlotte
When was the last time Dana Brooke wrestled? I can’t remember either, but here she is! She faced off against Sasha Banks, with Bayley and Charlotte at ringside. Sasha won pretty easily, but she did so by pulling the tights.
Furiously, Charlotte grabbed a microphone and got into the ring. Charlotte screamed at Dana, calling her a disgrace and saying she didn’t deserve to be by her side. She said that she was finally getting rid of Brooke, but before she could dig into her anymore, her protege attacked her. The two brawled around the ring before Charlotte was able to escape.
This would’ve been great six months ago. Dana hasn’t consistently been on television for a while, and there was almost no tension. There wasn’t any backstory and they didn’t do enough to microwave this. Color me unimpressed.
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s
T.J. Perkins and Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese
Discount Kenny Omega gimmick, T.J. Perkins and the second (maybe third?) best cruiserweight Akira Tozawa took on the Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese. Before the match even started, Tony Nese blindsided Tozawa, and the heel team started working the Yoda of YAH.
Tozawa wrestled almost the entire match. At one point, he went to tag Perkins, but Kendrick knocked Cap’n Dabbin off the apron. It’s amazing, the entire division has been trying to get people emotionally invested, and Tozawa has done it by yelling YAH over and over. Maybe the Ascension should take note.
Eventually, Perkins got the hot tag and started to work over Tony Nese. There was an awkward moment when Perkins was thrown into Tozawa and then rolled up for the heel win.
Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s
Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn
Promo Kevin Promo
Kevin Owens stood in the middle of the ring as a spotlight illuminated him and the crowd chanted Y2J. He reminded us that it was a month ago today that the festival of friendship happened, and I’m not gonna lie, it still hurts to watch.
The former ROH standout told us that Chris Jericho was never his best friend, and he said that he believed the reversal was true as well. He played it off like Jericho only pretended to be his friend because he wanted a Universal Championship match. The best heels are the self-righteous ones that think they haven’t done anything wrong. He said that after their match, the only things that would be left would be the tears of Jericho, cry them out, maaaaan.
Owens and Jericho started the match, but the former Universal Champion immediately tagged Samoa Joe in. Jericho wrestled Joe a little, but soon he was able to get Sami Zayn into the match.
The way they’ve been treating Samoa Joe so far is perfect. He’s not invincible, but he’s so devastating that when he hits moves, it looks like it’s killing them. Hopefully he stays this dominant and never falls to Rusev levels.
Owens mocked Jericho by putting one foot on Zayn and flexing, ala WCW Jericho. Jericho called Owens a stupid idiot, an the enraged Owens hit him with a superkick. Zayn did a suicide dive onto the duo, and it looked like he hurt his leg.
Joe and Owens started targeting Zayn’s leg until they were disqualified. The teams started brawling, and soon Joe and Owens were beating Jericho up. Joe was holding Jericho up as Owens beat him, before hitting a pop-up powerbomb.
The fans were clearly expecting Finn Balor to show up, and it’s the Royal Rumble all over again. We come up with an idea of what could happen, get excited about it, and then get disappointed when it doesn’t.
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
The Certified G’s vs. Sheasaro
Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we already done this? The winner of this match gets to face The Club at WrestleMania, right? Didn’t we just do this? I’m just as excited as I was the last time I saw these two wrestle, and in case you haven’t been reading, I was not even remotely excited.
Cesaro and Big Cass started the match, and the Swiss Superman started hot. Sheamus tagged in, and the two big men exchanged big blows. Cass tagged Enzo in and actually used him as a weapon. Could you imagine how great the Certified G’s would be if they were one wrestler? They’d be huge, okay on the mic, and a medi-oh my god, they’d be Roman Reigns.
Sheasaro took turns beating the hell out of Enzo Amore, and frankly, this team should break up. Or, at least, they should stop being a tag team. Just keep Enzo as Cass’ manager. Enzo immediately kills the credibility of any wrestler they’re in the ring with, because they should easily beat him.
This. Match. Sucked. There’s no other way to put it. Cass is just too slow in the ring, and this is the only wrestling promotion in the world that would put Enzo in a ring. The match was falling apart when Gallows and Anderson came out and got the match thrown out. They beat both teams down and it was the only time ever that they looked strong.
Wow. Such creative. Much original. Nobody saw this comin-
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s
Jinder Mahal vs. Roman Reigns
For fun, I’ve decided to start my timer. Reigns looked weak for a second last week, so he’s definitely going to get his momentum back tonight. Ready? Let’s see how long it takes, bell to bell, for Reigns to beat Jinder Mahal.
Unfortunately, Reigns circled Jinder before locking up. I was kinda hoping he’d come out, spear Mahal, and that would be it. Instead, he had to grapple with the former rock star. The two were having a decent little match when the gong went off!
Mahal took advantage of Taker’s distraction to get a variety of moves in, but this is Roman Reigns we’re talking about, so he kicked out. There was a “Let’s Go Roman, Roman Sucks” chant, and that’s a little disappointing.
After a small nap, Reigns hit a superman punch. Then, out of rage, he picked Mahal up and hit another superman punch. He glared at Mahal, because obviously he asked someone to hit a gong backstage, right?
Reigns grabbed a microphone and called Undertaker out! Aaas we went to commercial break. Uh, what? Why! That’s some WCW noise, WWE.
HBK and Strowman?
Reigns was pacing when HBK’S MUSIC HIT. THAT’S RIGHT, MR. WRESTLEMANIA, SHAWN MICHAELS WAS IN THE HOUSE AND I MARKED THE F OUT.
Michaels accused Reigns of letting Taker in his head, and he told the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion that if he’s already in Reigns’ head, he’s going to get eaten alive. The two exchanged some awkward dialogue before Reigns promised to retire Taker. He was headed to the back when Braun Strowman came out and laid Reigns out.
Chants of “Thank you Strowman” rang out.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s
Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari
Austin Aries is wrestling a match on Monday Night Raw. Let me just say that again. Austin Aries is wrestling a match on Monday Night Raw. I never thought I’d see the day. R.I.P. Ariya Daivari.
It was a solid match, but Daivari clearly isn’t in Aries’ league and it showed. Also, is there any question who is going to win the fatal fiveway tomorrow night? It has to be Aries, right?
Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s
Big Show vs. Titus O’Neil
This match is happening because Titus O’Neil wasn’t the star of a Jetsons movie. The really sad thing? Ready? Big Show will be in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Hey Shaq? It’s a wrestling match, not a free throw, don’t be so scared.
Anyway, Show basically killed Titus. He hit him with several chokeslams before pinning him, because I guess that’s his gimmick now. Literally murder your opponent, get the pin, get screwed out of your Mania match. Sorry Show. You deserve better, big guy.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
FACT: There ain’t no stopping us now.
FACT: Nia Jax is not like most girls.
Got it? Great. Because we’re seeing this match again. Remember how great it was on NXT? Because I doubt we’re gonna get anything like that tonight. Oh well. Let’s dive into it.
It was a solid match, but it’s one we’ve seen so. many. times. It’s just hard to get excited when these two have wrestled so many times. Eventually, Jax beat Bayley to the point where she was disqualified. So… why did we have this match?
What was the point?
Segment/Match Quality- 1/10 Woo’s
Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley
Watch Mick Foley fire himself. #MondayNightRyan
Stephanie came out and asked Mick Foley who he was going to fire. He said the person he decided to fire, was Stephanie McMahon. The whole crowd “YES’D” in unison. Stephanie told him that he couldn’t do that, and he insisted that he could.
Then… Triple H came out.
Triple H tore Foley down, calling him a pathetic has-been and saying he’d beat Foley with his severed leg. HHH continued to shred Foley to pieces. I don’t know when it happened, but Triple H became the best talker in the business. Over the last couple of months, he’s been a monster every time he’s come out.
In my favorite moment ever, Foley hit Mr. Socko on Triple H, and just when it looked like HHH was gonna kill him, SETH FREAKIN ROLLINS CAME OUT. Crutch and all. Though it didn’t look like he needed it!
He was running around and kicking and hitting, and even better, HHH was allowed to put him in submissions and hit him in the knee with the crutch!
Triple H was left standing tall, but one thing is for sure, Seth Rollins is back baby!
Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s
Best Segment/Match of the Night- The Game Returns
This was really the only special part of the show. The great promos, Mr. Socko, Seth Rollins, itw as awesome. It was fun to see Heyman sell Mania, and a couple matches were fun. Everything else kinda wavered between pointless nonsense and perfectly mediocre. Meh.
Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Jax vs. Bayley
Jax is a monster. Bayley is a weak champion. Great? What was the point of this segment? Seriously, what was the point? Can anyone tell me?
Show Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
The last segment really saved this show. It was so incredibly awesome. The rest of the show was basically garbage, but the last 20 minutes were absolutely incredible. Worth watching on YouTube alone.