Monday Night Raw Review: The Raw Before Mania

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‘Twas the Raw before Mania, when all through the arena, the Raw show was stacked, even without John Cena. The shovel rest under the table with care, in hopes that Seth Rollins soon would be there. The Certified G’s and Shesaro nestled snug in their beds, while visions of championships danced in their heads. As much fun as this is, it’s time to get down to business. It was the Monday Night Raw before WrestleMania, did it sell the show? Only one way to find out.

Monday Night Raw Review: The Raw Before Mania

Bayley, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax

The Raw Women’s Champion opened the show, and she cut a promo talking about “WrestleMania, dude”. She was cutting her weekly “I was a fan when I was a kid” promo when Charlotte came out. The Queen came out and was reminding Bayley that she’s just being used by Sasha Banks.

I just want to thank the Philadelphia crowd. Because here they started chanting CM Punk, and I got a chance to plug my article! If you like chanting the name of awful UFC fighters, read this!

Charlotte was trying to prove her point to Bayley when Sasha Banks came out and disputed it. They were jawing off at each other when Nia Jax came out and the four women started brawling.

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Charlotte

Sasha and Charlotte started the match, and to their credit, they started off hot. They locked up and rolled out of the ring, brawling with each other. All four women played their roles perfectly. Sasha and Charlotte went after each other, Nia threw the girls around, and Bayley got beat up.

Bayley took a nasty bump on her ankle where either they did an outstanding job or Charlotte risked really hurting her ankle. Charlotte went to lock in the figure eight, but Sasha Banks came to the rescue, what else is new. After the match, Jax cleaned house, standing tall, and picked up the belt.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

Austin Aries vs. Noam Dar w/Alicia Fuouououuooox

Did you forget that Noam Dar was on WWE’s roster? Because I did. He took on Austin Aries in the cruiserweight match of the night. With Aries facing Neville for the title on Sunday, I wonder who is going to win this match.

Alicia Fuuuuuuooooooox temporarily distracted Aries, but it wasn’t enough. Aries hit the discus five-arm before locking the last chancer for the win.

Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s

Seth Rollins Contract Signing

Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins came to the ring, and wasted no time being calling Triple H out to the ring with the contract. The King of Kings obliged, and smirked as he made his way to the ring. Triple H sold Seth Rollins on the realities of the world, telling him that he’s gotta look out for himself, and not his fans.

Triple H cut an incredible promo about how Rollins should protect himself, but the architect wasn’t buying it. Rollins said he liked himself before he met Triple H. He said he was proud of himself before he met Triple H. Rollins cut an amazing promo about the decisions he made to be by Triple H’s side, and how he didn’t care about the power anymore, just redemption.

Rollins signed the contract, and Triple H began his attack, targeting Rollins’ knee. The former champion went to Pedigree Triple H, but the Game escaped. Triple H went to hit a Pedigree of his own, and Rollins sent him over the top rope. Rollins managed to fight Triple H off with a crutch and the segment ended with him standing tall.

Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s

Over The Top Rope Challenge?

The Big Show and Jinder Mahal came out, and Show easily disposed of him. I guess this like a gauntlet battle royal? Bo Dallas was next, and he lasted just about as long. The Shining Stars came out, and… well… you know the rest. Curtis Axel, R-Truth, and Goldust came out, and then everyone else came back into the ring to help eliminate show. O…kay?

Show was not pleased, so he went back into the ring and murdered everyone. Are the Golden Truth heels? What the hell was the point? Big Show’s music hit, and then Braun Strowman came out, announcing that he’ll also be in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. What a waste.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Neville vs. Jack Gallagher

Jack Gallagher is back! I missed that dapper gentleman! Is he gonna beat Neville? No! But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy him, his shenanigans, and those damn headbutts. It’s so much fun to watch Neville wrestle. He did a wild move where he threw Gallagher off the ropes and turned it into a sick german suplex.

Neville submitted Gallagher with the Rings of Saturn after a superplex, and his match against Aries should be one of the best on the WrestleMania show.

Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s

Roman Reigns

Guess what? Raw is in Philly. Guess what else? Roman Reigns came out. Guess a third time? It didn’t go over well. Man, try and find anyone that loves you the way that Vince McMahon loves Roman Reigns.

Good God they booed the hell out of him for like 5 minutes. Reigns was boasting about how he won the Royal Rumble and main evented WrestleMania twice. He then went on to talk about how he’s going to put the Dead Man down. Uh… Don’t question me here, but uh… Reigns cut a heel promo… and it wasn’t bad.

The gong went off and Taker’s voice boomed over the speakers while ghastly images showed on the titantron. Apparently, Taker dug a grave for Reigns, which is impressive because he’s 52 years old. I’m 25 and I can barely shovel my driveway when it snows.

He informed Reigns that the Roman Empire would fall at WrestleMania, and warned him that he would rest in peace. The camera flashed back to Philadelphia where the lights were off and the bell tolled. The lights came back on and MAGIC! Taker was in the ring.

Taker did this cool spot where he lowered his arms and with his arms, the lights lowered, and then we cut to commercial. Okay… that was… actually… pretty… good. What?

Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s

The Certified G’s vs. The Club

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were making their way to the ring to wrestle The Certified G’s when Sheasaro came from backstage and attacked both teams with ladders! Will their triple threat match be a TLC match??

Eventually Gallows and Anderson recovered, cleaning up the rest of the teams. Enzo Amore took a hideous bump when he slipped and ate a ladder. Phew. But! The tag team champions closed the segment standing tall. How often does that happen?

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. Let me ask, have you ever seen this match before? I don’t think I have. I think this is the very first time I’ve ever seen this match in my entire life. I wonder if these guys have chemistry.

In all seriousness, the men took advantage of the no-disqualification stipulation, carrying the match around the ring. They fought in the crowd and on the stage, which led for Zayn to do a magnificent dive off the stage onto Owens.

Zayn did his diving DDT, which I think is insanely beautiful, and he actually landed it! Zayn, being the good sport, tried to get Owens back into the ring, setting him up for the Helluva Kick, eating a superkick instead. Owens climbed to the top-rope, hitting the frogsplash, but Zayn miraculously kicked out!

After Owens kicked out of a Blue Thunderbomb, Samoa Joe made his way to the ring and grabbed a steel chair. He was about to attack Zayn when Chris Jericho made his way to the ring for the save! Zayn was able to roll Owens up for the win!

Owens tried to attack Zayn, but Jericho hit him with the… CHAIR OF JERICHO, SIT DOWWWWN MANNNNN!

He grabbed a microphone and finally, FINALLY, he put Owens on the list.

Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s

Goldberg and Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came to the ring first, and you know the story. Lesnar looks menacing, Heyman cuts a masterful promo, we all cheer. Get it? Got it? Good.

Goldberg eventually showed up, and said that since he couldn’t bring Philadelphia to WrestleMania, he’d bring WrestleMania to Goldberg. He hit Lesnar with a spear on the ramp. Goldberg ripped his shirt off, raised the belt over his head, and that was the show. What?

Segment/Match Quality- 1/10 Woo’s

Best Segment/Match of the Night- Roman Empire Rises

So. I don’t think I’ve ever given Roman Reigns the best segment spot before. And I’m not necessarily proud of this, but… the segment was great. Reigns cut an outstanding heel promo, and I’m a sucker for the cheesy Taker special effects. I’m ready to see these two fight.

Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Lesnar and Goldberg

Nah. Screw this segment. Seriously? Heyman talks, and then Lesnar gets crippled by one spear? THAT’S NOT EVEN HIS FINISHER. So dumb.

Show Quality- 9/10 Woo’s

Go-home shows are hard. You don’t want to give away too much, but you need to sell WrestleMania. You don’t want the go-home show to be better than the show itself either. It was the second date of Monday Night Raws. I’m really excited for next week though. That show is always a blast! But it wasn’t a bad show. It’s worth watching on Hulu if you missed it. I’ll see you at WrestleMania!

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