Week of 3/5/2018 - 3/11/2018 (Monday - Wednesday)
Hillbilly Jim is confirmed for the Hall of Fame.
Monday Night Raw
Date: March 5, 2018
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
With five episodes to go before Wrestlemania, this show needs to start getting ready for Wrestlemania. At the moment, there is one match confirmed for the biggest show of the year and weíre 34 days out. I know thereís Fastlane to get through first but Raw doesnít have another pay per view between now and New Orleans. Get something set up this week. Letís get to it.
Hereís Kurt Angle to get things going. Kurt is serious this week because he got sucker punched last week. HHH hit him right in the jaw and while Kurt has swallowed his pride before, heís calling HHH out right now. The jacket comes off and hereís a swaggering Stephanie (the obvious response) instead. Stephanie asks about Angleís five kids and ex-wife, meaning he likely has an alimony payment. She advises Kurt to stick with what he does for a living and hereís Ronda Rousey to interrupt.
Rousey talks about the people who brought her here not being what they said they were but sheís dealt with that before. Stephanie laughs this off and says people donít often understand their bossesí decisions. What Rousey needs to remember is that she signed a contract with WWE and that puts her under Stephanie. Ronda remembers something about that contract: sheís allowed to pick her opponent. That opponent would be Stephanie, so hereís HHH to keep his wife from a bad case of death.
Angle brings up that Stephanie also has a wrestlerís contract (Why?) so the match is on. Sheís not the only one with a wrestlerís contract because HHH has one too. Thatís why the mixed tag match is on for Wrestlemania. HHH leaves so Stephanie loads up the slap on Angle, only to have Rousey grab the arm. HHH comes back in for the save and the fight is on with Stephanie knocking Rousey down from behind. The stare sends her bailing as HHH is put in the ankle lock. Stephanie comes back for the save but gets pulled back into the ring for a not great Samoan drop from Rousey.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Asuka is thrown outside to start and we go split screen to hear Alexa Bliss say Nia is winning tonight. Back to full screen with Asuka being planted off a backbreaker. An Octopus hold slows Nia down but she throws Asuka into the corner without much effort. A reverse Eye of the Storm drops Asuka and we take a break.
Back with Asuka reeling but scoring with a Shining Wizard for two. The Samoan drop plants Asuka but she avoids the legdrop. Instead itís off to the cross armbreaker which transitions into a triangle choke. Nia canít powerbomb her way out, even when she drives Asuka into the corner. Asuka switches back into the armbreaker and Nia taps at 11:05.
Nia gets the big heroís reaction post match as she stands up and walks out, holding the damaged arm.
Revival vs. The Bar
Non-title but the Revival gets a title shot if they win. Dawson gets taken into the wrong corner to start and the Bar takes turns pounding him down. A double gordbuster (oh the Anderson vibes are strong with this one) puts Sheamus on the floor and we take a break. Back with Revival kicking Sheamusí legs out as everything breaks down. A PowerPlex of all things gets two on Cesaro but Sheamus makes the save. Wilder is sent outside and the Neutralizer gives Cesaro the pin at 9:30.
Hereís John Cena to talk about getting a title match at Fastlane. Heís a free agent so he can be on both shows. So why is he here if he has a title match at a Smackdown pay per view? Heís here because he knows none of the other people in the match will let him have a chance to speak. This Sunday, the record is being broken when Cena wins his seventeenth World Title.
People always talk about how Cena holds people back and is handed everything, but he earned this chance when he beat AJ Styles 1-2-3. When he wins on Sunday, the critics will be there to say heís robbed AJ of a Wrestlemania moment. Cena is encouraging AJ to make a better Wrestlemania moment and cash in his rematch to make it a triple threat with Cena, Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
This brings out, I kid you not, Goldust of all people, quoting the Iím a bum speech from On the Waterfront. Goldust has a dream of going to Wrestlemania too and that starts with preventing Cena from getting there. His dreams are always taken away and tonight, heís taking over this silver screen as Cenaís new director. One right hand puts Cena down and we go to a break.
Goldust vs. John Cena
Joined in progress for a first time ever match actually. Goldust kicks him in the face and snaps off the powerslam to keep Cena in trouble. A knee drop allows Goldust to pose but he takes too long, allowing Cena to grab a standing chinlock. Goldust hits him low for two but Cena pops up, initiates the finishing sequence, and finishes with the AA at 3:47.
Elias tries to get out of the Symphony of Destruction match with Braun Strowman tonight but Angle says no.
Hillbilly Jim Hall of Fame video. I couldnít be happier.
Hereís Bayley for a chat before her match. She got serious last week and Sasha Banks wasnít happy with itÖ.so hereís Absolution to interrupt. Paige makes fun of Bayley for finally growing up and weíre ready to go.
Mandy Rose vs. Bayley
Rose takes her down to start and trash talking in the corner ensues. Bayley gets driven hard into the corner and a slam gets two. Back up and Mandy bails for a bit as we take a break. We come back with Bayley fighting up and kicking Mandy away from the ropes. The Stunner over the middle rope drops Mandy again but Sonya Deville gets on the apron. The distraction completely fails though as Bayley grabs a rollup for the pin at 8:36.
Post match Absolution beats Bayley down until Sasha makes the save. Bayley doesnít buy it.
Womenís History Month video on Eunice Kennedy Shriver, creator of the Special Olympics.
Alexa and Mickie James come in to see Nia, who is icing down the arm. Bliss talks about how Nia might not make it to Wrestlemania this year but sheíll be there one day. She goes on about how Nia was bullied for her size when she was a kid and it continues to this day. Nia breaks down in tears as Bliss tells her to keep fighting before everyone loses all respect for her. This was really good and Nia destroying Bliss for talking down to her should be great.
Ronda Rousey was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend.
We look at the opening segment again.
Braun Strowman is ready to GIVE THESE HANDS to Elias.
Hereís Elias at a piano before the Symphony of Destruction match. Elias loves symphonies because theyíre cultured, unlike this hick town. He goes over to the drums for a little number before picking up the guitar for the weekly song. After saying Milwaukee sucks, Elias, says he canít stand a single one of the fans. Now itís time for the regular entranceÖ.and thereís no Elias. Instead heís bailing through the crowd and into the back to a waiting car. The car doesnít go anywhere though because Strowman is LIFTING IT OFF THE GROUND. Ok so itís a good editing trick but still a cool visual.
Elias vs. Braun Strowman
Anything goes and falls count anywhere with musical instruments on the stage. Elias gets out of the powerslam and breaks a guitar over Strowmanís back to limited effect. A top rope elbow gets one and Strowman throws him to the floor. They head to the announcersí table and Elias escapes another powerslam, only to get shoved into the video wall. The big string bass crushes Elias again and Strowman throws him underneath a piano. After banging on the keys a bit, Braun drops the piano on him and gets the pin at 5:04.
Elias does a stretcher job.
Announcement of the Saudi Arabia Royal Rumble next month. Put it on the Network perhaps?
Bray Wyatt vs. Rhyno
Bray runs him over with a clothesline and Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 47 seconds.
Post match Bray calls out Matt Hardy, who appears on screen with music playing behind him. He talks about a battlefield that is worthy of their combat, meaning the Hardy Compound. The video goes to said compound, complete with Vanguard One and Skarsgard, the dilapidated boat. Laughter ensues.
Itís time for the third annual Mizzies, with Miz talking about how awesome his awards are. The Darkest Hour was when the Shape of Water won Best Picture over Marine 5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri should be three billboards outside New Orleans, featuring his face. Out first award is for the Superstar Best at Patting Themselves on the back. The nominees:
Seth Rollins for bragging about lasting 65 minutes in a match he lost
Kurt Angle for FINALLY being a good father to Jason Jordan
Finn Balor for winning the Universal Title and holding it less than 24 hours
The winners: Rollins and Balor, neither of whom were invited tonight!
Next up: Worst Decision By a Raw General Manager! The nominees:
Kurt Angle for bringing his son to Raw
Kurt Angle for letting Balor and Rollins into the Elimination Chamber
Kurt Angle for failing to name Mizís Wrestlemania opponent
Angle wins (no specific incident mentioned) but canít accept because heís too busy sucking up to Ronda Rousey. Miz is about to announce the lifetime achievement Mizzie but hereís Rollins to interrupt. Balor cuts him off pretty quickly but Miz says he isnít sure which of them is a bigger disappointment. This isnít Japan where Balor can get over on a smile and a hand gesture that isnít his. Last week was a glorified handicap match so letís have a real handicap match right now with Miz/Miztourage vs. the two of them. The match is on.
Finn Balor/Seth Rollins vs. Miz/Miztourage
Balor works on Curtis Axelís arm to start and itís off to Rollins for an ax handle to said arm. A shot from the apron allows Axel to take over, followed by Bo Dallas dropping a knee. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Rollins dives over for the tag to Balor. A Miz distraction breaks up 1916 and Dallas runs Balor over as we take a break.
Back with Rollins hitting the Falcon Arrow for two on Miz and the low superkick gets the same. Rollins nails a suicide dive on the Miztourage but Balor tags himself in, much to Sethís annoyance. Finn hits a flip dive of his own but Rollins tags himself in as Finn loads up the Coup de Grace. Instead itís the Curb Stomp to pin Miz at 11:02.
Post match Angle comes out and announces Miz defending against Rollins and Balor at Wrestlemania.
Hereís Paul Heyman to respond to Roman Reignsí comments last week. Heyman lays the title down, saying heís allowed to do it because Brock Lesnar allows him to. Roman came out here last week and criticized Lesnarís schedule. The biggest win of Reignsí career is defeating the Undertaker last year at Wrestlemania. Brock Lesnar did that too and Lesnar is Brock Lesnar 365 days a year.
After Wrestlemania, Brock may let Heyman come out here and lay the title down again. Then maybe heíll lay the UFC Heavyweight Championship next to it. At Wrestlemania, Reigns is coming for the title but thatís just not happening. Heyman: ďAnd Afa Wrestlemania, you can Sika new title to challenge for, because this one is going home with Brock Lesnar.Ē Heyman goes to leave but stops to hold up the title. Last week Reigns said Lesnar was a b****. The reality is the title is Lesnarís b****.
Brock does what he wants with it and looks at it whenever he wants but Reigns has been looking at it. The title, which isnít a belt or a strap but proof that Lesnar is the best in the universe, is going to have to be pried out of Lesnarís hot, active fingers. Reigns wants to be champion because itís his bloodline, but the title is what matters most to Lesnar. If Reigns wants to be the Universal Champion, he canít go home if he finds out something happened to his father, because someone has to be there to defend and present this title the night after Wrestlemania.
Reigns isnít the man to take the title from Lesnar and thereís no way around it. Now Reigns knows that he shouldnít shoot from the hip with Heyman and he shouldnít shoot in the ring with Lesnar. Heyman goes to leave again but now itís Reigns coming out to interrupt. Reigns says this is proof that what he said is right: all he did is sent Heyman for his rebuttal. All the fans want is for their champion to show up and want to be here. Brock is going to be in Detroit next week so he better be dressed for a fight. Heyman gets out as fast as he can to end the show.
Itís a good promo from Heyman, albeit a little long. The problem though is all the cheering for Reigns comes to a crashing halt as soon as Brock shows up. If it doesnít happen on Raw, itís going to happen at Wrestlemania. Itís a story weíve tried before and I have no idea why weíre stuck doing it all over again. At least it should be over soon though and the promos have been solid so far.
Asuka b. Nia Jax Ė Cross armbreaker
The Bar b. Revival Ė Neutralizer to Dawson
John Cena b. Goldust Ė Attitude Adjustment
Bayley b. Mandy Rose Ė Rollup
Braun Strowman b. Elias Ė Strowman dropped a piano on Elias
Bray Wyatt b. Rhyno Ė Sister Abigail
Finn Balor/Seth Rollins b. Miz/Miztourage Ė Curb Stomp to Miz
Date: March 6, 2018
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
Itís the go home show for Fastlane and that means we can finally move towards Wrestlemania. However, we still have quite a big of stuff to get through first and that means a lot of work tonight. Thereís a good chance John Cena will be in town but the rest of the matches need some attention too. Letís get to it.
Charlotte and Ruby Riott are brought out for an opening chat. Ruby cuts Dasha Fuentes off and says this started on November 14, 2017 when Charlotte won the Smackdown Womenís Title. Charlotte is the perfect person to be the top star of the womenís division but then Ruby saw the myth fall apart. It was a week later that Ruby started the Riott Squad with the sole purpose of destroying Charlotteís myth.
Charlotte talks about how just being good isnít enough because she has to transcend everything. Thatís what sheís done and now sheís become the best ever. Ruby says thatís all on the line Sunday and when Charlotte loses, sheíll be just another bleach blonde with a famous last name. The Squad gets in the ring but hereís Bobby Roode to scare them off and to do commentary on the next match. Good promo here, but it should have been for a Wrestlemania match instead of a Fastlane match.
Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal
Roode is on commentary. Mahalís bio talks about his hometown and the languages he speaks. Even WWE wants you to forget he was World Champion. Orton elbows him in the face to start but itís too early for the RKO. Instead Mahal bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with Mahal hitting a jumping knee to the face and grabbing a chinlock.
Orton fights up and hits the powerslam but Mahal bails to the floor to avoid the hanging DDT. Randy drops the remaining Singh Brother onto the announcersí table for old timesí sake before throwing Mahal into Roode. Back in and Orton loads up the RKO, only to have Roode get on the apron. Another knee sends Orton into Roode and the Khallas gives Jinder the pin at 10:02.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are in the back with Kevin mentioning Sami offering to lay down for him. Sami sticks with what he said and says Owens is just a single win away from going to Wrestlemania. Owens hugs him and smiles.
Baron Corbin is ready to make John Cenaís Wrestlemania (and yes the sign pops up on the screen when he says it) dream a nightmare.
Video on the Usos vs. New Day feud.
Shinsuke Nakamura is ready to go to Wrestlemania when Rusev Day comes in. Rusev is upset that Nakamura has damaged Aiden English and challenges him to a match at Fastlane to make up for it. Nakamura accepts and promises that Sunday will be Nakamura Day. Rusev: ďYou canít just make up your own holiday.Ē Iíll take what I can get.
Last week, Becky Lynch said she could make Carmella tap out.
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella
Carmella sends her into the corner to start and rubs Beckyís face into the mat. An upside down triangle choke keeps Becky in trouble and Carmella shouts about being Ms. Money in the Bank. Becky is sent into the barricade and a knee to the face gets two. A chinlock doesnít last very long as Becky fights up and grabs the Bexploder. The Disarm-Her makes Carmella tap at 5:17.
Naomi is glad for Becky to win when Natalya comes in for one of those completely unnatural exchanges where no one talks like this. Another match is set for Sunday with Natalya/Carmella vs. Naomi/Becky.
Saudi Arabia Rumble announcement.
Hereís AJ Styles for a chat before his match. Heís the WWE Champion but on Sunday he doesnít have to get pinned to lose his title. Itís no surprise that the odds are stacked against him again but heís not going to say itís not fair. Styles lost to John Cena last week so hereís a clip from last night with Cena saying the seventeenth title is coming on Sunday. Back in the arena, AJ says he doesnít want a rematch at Wrestlemania and thatís not what the fans want either. AJ wants to face the best at Wrestlemania and that means Shinsuke Nakamura.
Cue Dolph Ziggler, who faces AJ tonight, to say AJ used to be cool. It took AJ ten years to get to the house that Ziggler built. Ziggler says AJ is losing on Sunday because he doesnít have his head on straight. AJ is doing this for the people and theyíll stab him in the back. Over the years, Ziggler has faced one road block after another but heís overcome all of them (oh come on) and eventually because World Heavyweight Champion. Somehow heís never had a singles match at Wrestlemania so AJ can shove his Wrestlemania dream match. Ziggler is already a heel again. Thatís some Big Show turning speed.
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title. Ziggler bails from a Clash attempt in the first five seconds and they start all over again. AJ actually wins an amateur exchange but gets caught with a dropkick to the face. The chinlock slows AJ down for a bit, only to have him come right back up with a dropkick of his own. A slingshot forearm to the floor drops Ziggler again and we take a break. Back with Ziggler in control and backdropping AJ for two.
AJís basement forearm gets two but Ziggler is right back with a Fameasser for the same. They head to the apron with AJ being sent hard into the post as we take another break. Back again with Ziggler pulling AJ off the top but not being able to hit his own Styles Clash. Instead AJ tries a superkick but gets countered into a not great Zig Zag for another near fall. Cue Sami and Kevin for the no contest at 16:38.
Post match hereís Shane McMahon to make a match, but since it wouldnít be fair to have a regular match, letís make it a five way with everyone in the ring plus this man.
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
Non-title again. So itís the pay per view match we were set to have until a week ago. Joined in progress with Sami sending AJ into the barricade until Baron starts beating everyone up. Corbin gets sent outside and Owens backsplashes Ziggler for two while Sami stands by and watches.
Owens and Sami clear the ring and hug until Owens has to go kick Corbin in the face. AJ comes back in and drops Owens before enziguring Sami down to take us to a break. Back with Sami getting the worst of a Tower of Doom until Corbin gets up for the running clotheslines. Sami gives Ziggler the Blue Thunder Bomb for two with AJ making the save.
Kevinís Cannonball crushes Ziggler and the Vader Bomb elbow gets two more on Dolph. A superkick drops Sami for two with AJ making the save, only to get punched out of the air by Corbin. Ziggler takes a chokebreaker and Owens charges into Deep Six for two with AJ making another save. The moonsault into the reverse DDT drops Zayn but AJ and Ziggler are sent outside. Sami hits a quick Helluva Kick to put Owens away at 15:03.
Post match Sami is asked why and says thatís a vague question. Sami says heís the best WWE has to offer and is the most underlooked (Is that a word?) performer on the roster. Tonight was about proving that heís the best andÖ.weíre cut off in what seemed like mid-promo to end the show. I guess they underlooked the rest of it.
Jinder Mahal b. Randy Orton Ė Khallas
Becky Lynch b. Carmella Ė Disarm-Her
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler went to a no contest when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interfered
Sami Zayn b. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler Ė Helluva Kick to Owens
Date: March 7, 2018
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
Itís tournament time! Just in case two tournaments going on at the same time wasnít enough, tonight we start the third Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. This time, the winners will be challenging for the NXT Tag Team Titles at Takeover: New Orleans. Other than that we need to start building to the rest of that show so letís get to it.
We open with a look at the tournament, accompanied by Dusty Rhodesí iconic theme song.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Authors of Pain vs. TM61
Rematch of the 2016 finals where the Authors won the whole thing. Razar and Thorn start things off with the former throwing Shane into the corner and driving some shoulders into the ribs. The fans are behind TM61 and a flapjack doesnít really slow down the cheering. Thorn gets driven into the corner and brings Miller in for a double Russian legsweep. The Authors bail to the floor for a bit so Thorn is right there with the big flip dive over the ropes. Now thatís a Dusty move if Iíve ever seen one.
Back in and Akum shrugs off the right hands to the face and drives Miller HARD into the corner. We take a break and come back with Razar continuing to pummel Miller with hard shots to the head. A cobra clutch keeps Miller down until a DDT gets him out of trouble. The hot tag brings in Thorn for a clothesline and dropkick to finally drop Razar.
One heck of a Falcon Arrow gets two but Razar kicks Thornís head off to take him down. A powerbomb/neckbreaker combination gets two but Miller and Thorn slip out of stereo Death Valley Drivers. Miller gets two off Blue Vengeance (moonsault) with Akum making the save. Akum powerbombs Thorn over the top and ONTO THE APRON for a sick landing. The Last Chapter ends Miller at 11:02.
William Regal is talking to the press about the Dusty Classic but has to leave. Pete Dunne comes in and says the UK Title is staying in the UK. Roderick Strong pops in to ask for a rematch. Before Dunne answers, the Undisputed Era comes in to laugh at Strong for losing. Dunne brings up Cole never winning anything, drawing Regal back over to ask if thereís a problem. Apparently not.
Sanity says chaos rules everything and in this yearís tournament, united they purge. Tonight, Killian Dain is ready to unleash chaos on Aleister Black.
Bianca Belair vs. Miss Drew Renee
Belair wastes no time in rolling some vertical suplexes and the Alley Oop is good for the pin at 1:21.
Lacey Evans wants to face Ember Moon next week but bails when Shayna Baszler comes in. Baszler knows Moon is a hypocrite for ignoring her for another week.
Heavy Machinery talks about being the good beef this year.
Hereís Tommaso Ciampa with no music to be booed out of the arena. Much like Roman Reigns the night after last yearís Wrestlemania, Ciampa is cut off every time he brings the microphone to his mouth. The WE WANT JOHNNY chants set Ciampa off and he throws the microphone down.
Ciampa slowly walks around the ring as the fans sing the Goodbye Song and then the DELETE chant. He takes a Gargano sign from a fan and rips it up (make sure to give the fan a gift so he doesnít go home sad) before beating on the pieces with his crutch. Ciampa leaves without saying a word. Really good segment here, especially considering Ciampa looks like an actual psycho half the time.
Next week: Cole vs. Dunne for the UK Title and two more first round matches.
Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain
Dain charges straight into the corner for a shotgun dropkick and a near fall. Black is right back up with kicks and knees to send Dain outside, followed by a big dive to take him out again. We take a break and come back with Dain running Black over and getting a delayed two. Dain grabs a seated abdominal stretch and adds a pair of splashes for two.
A slam doesnít work though as Black slips out and fires off the kicks to drop Dain. Black gets two off a standing Lionsault but gets clotheslined out of the air for two more. With Dain getting a bit too strong, Black goes simple by just kicking him in the head. That only earns Black a spinebuster and Vader Bomb for another near fall. Black gets two off a victory roll and catches Dain right in the face with Black Mass for the pin at 11:52.
Authors of Pain b. TM61 Ė Last Chapter to Thorn
Bianca Belair b. Miss Drew Renee Ė Alley Oop
Aleister Black b. Killian Dain Ė Black Mass
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