Week of 3/27/2017 - 4/2/2017 (Monday - Wednesday)

Discussion in 'The Weekly Wrestling Review' started by klunderbunker, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Monday Night Raw
    Date: March 27, 2017
    Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

    It's the last show before Wrestlemania and that means there isn't likely to be much going on tonight. The big story tonight is the HHH vs. Seth Rollins signing, which is a match that somehow hasn't been confirmed yet. While it seems to be a guarantee, I could see Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe being added to make it a tag match for the sake of protecting Seth's knee. Let's get to it.

    The Undertaker hacks the opening video and turns it into one of his own. You know I wasn't sure if he'd be on the go home show for Wrestlemania.

    Opening sequence.

    Here's Bayley, in an Ultimate Warrior shirt, to open the show. This is her favorite time of the year because she used to get together with her friends and buy Wrestlemania every year. This time around though, she's defending her title on the show and it's the biggest night of her life. Cue Charlotte to interrupt and talk about taking care of Sasha Banks last year. When she beat Sasha at End of the Line, she sent her away from the title picture.

    This Sunday, Sasha is going to turn on Bayley because Banks believes in keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Charlotte shows us a Tweet to prove it but has to deal with CM PUNK chants. Now it's Sasha coming out to say she hears this every single week. She promises to win but here's Nia Jax to interrupt as well. It's her turn to promise to win the title and a brawl breaks out.

    Bayley/Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax/Charlotte

    This was previously announced so they didn't just throw it together for a change. Sasha works on a backbreaker with her knee in Charlotte's back to start but it's off to Nia for the power game. Things start going badly for Sasha as you might expect and it's back to Charlotte.

    Sasha gets over for the tag as well though and sends Charlotte face first into the buckle a few times, only to miss a middle rope crossbody. A chinlock keeps Bayley in trouble as long as a chinlock is going to do, meaning it's off to Sasha for a kick to Charlotte's ribs. Not that it matters as Nia runs her off the apron and we take a break.

    Back with Charlotte and Nia taking turns on a chinlock until Charlotte bends Sasha's back over her knee. Banks finally fights up and makes the hot tag off to Bayley for a very nice pop. A belly to back gets two on Charlotte but she goes after the knee and grabs the Figure Four, only to have Sasha make the save. Sasha poses Nia, leaving the Bayley to Belly to finish Charlotte at 13:00.

    Nia drops everyone post match, including a splash to Charlotte, allowing her to hold up the title.

    We look at HHH re-injuring Seth Rollins' knee.

    We look back at Mick Foley being fired last week.

    Sami Zayn enters the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to honor Foley's legacy. Stephanie comes up and says not so fast because Sami hasn't earned that right. Therefore, tonight he has to defeat Kevin Owens in a No DQ match. If he loses, he can join Foley on the unemployment line. She's always had some weird obsession with that match but at least we don't have to hear about her being Andre's friend.

    Austin Aries vs. Noam Dar

    Neville is on commentary. Aries hits a running dropkick to put him on the floor and we take a break. Back with Dar stomping away in the corner and grabbing a chinlock. The comeback doesn't take long and a legsweep sends Dar outside for a suicide dive. Back in and Aries unloads with the discus Fivearm, followed by the Last Chancery (making its main roster debut) to make Dar tap at 7:30.

    We look back at HHH demanding Rollins sign a paper to prevent lawsuits due to injuries.

    Here are Rollins and HHH for the contract signing. HHH doesn't get in yet because he has to tell Seth that the match is off if there's violence before the match. Seth has to sit down and listen to what he has to give up or there's no match. HHH explains the idea all over again and then blames the fans for putting Seth in jeopardy.

    The boss doesn't understand why people hate success so much. How dare HHH drive a nice car and live in a nice house? You have one life to live and there's no point in holding back. HHH finally gets to a logical point by saying Seth doesn't want to miss Wrestlemania twice in a row but if he walks in to Wrestleania, he's not walking out.

    Seth says that's the same nonsense he bought into three years ago but he's not doing it now. He didn't mind wrestling in front of 100 people for a hot dog and a handshake in the Philadelphia National Guard Armory because he loves this business. Seth loves this and it's more than just a match at Wrestlemania. Rollins signs and the beating is on with HHH going after the knee. HHH loads up the crutch but gets caught by an enziguri and backdropped over the top.

    This was a little long but it showcases the major problem: I have no idea why they're fighting. Rollins' motivation makes sense but did HHH ever give a better explanation than “your knee got hurt and we had to start over”? Is that REALLY the best they can come up with? HHH's speech about money and power didn't make sense and I really don't get what they're going for here.

    We look at Goldberg beating Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.

    Back from a break and we look at what we just saw.

    Over the Top Rope Challenge

    This is basically a battle royal gauntlet match and I'm assuming everyone is in the Andre match. Big Show and Jinder Mahal start with Show putting him out in about thirty seconds. Bo Dallas gets the same treatment and both Shining Stars don't do much better. Golden Truth and Curtis Axel come in, plus the other four who were previously eliminated, to finally put Big Show out.

    It doesn't really matter as Show gets back in and beats up everyone save for Truth, who bails instead. Show's music plays but Braun Strowman comes out for the trash talk against Big Show as the match ended....I guess when Show was eliminated. I'm really not sure who won so we'll call it a no contest at around 3:00. No rating due to how all over the place this was, but at least we know Strowman is in the battle royal.

    We look back at Sheamus and Cesaro winning a handicap match in 40 seconds last week.

    Anderson and Gallows think Enzo and Cass are stupid.

    The Undertaker is digging graves.

    Reigns isn't scared.

    New Day rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, gave out cheese steaks and New Day Pops to people in Philadelphia and trained by running the Rocky Steps.

    Anderson and Gallows jump Sheamus and Cesaro......with a ladder. Yeah sure why not. Let's add ANOTHER gimmick to the gimmickiest show ever.

    Neville vs. Jack Gallagher

    Non-title. Gallagher starts with the headstands in the corner and a rollup for two. Not that it matters as Neville sends him flying with a release German suplex as we take a break. Back with the big headbutt dropping Neville but Jack can't follow up. With Neville rolling outside, Jack grabs William III and dives off the top for a seated senton but it only seems to annoy Neville (I never liked Mary Poppins either). Neville comes right back with the superplex and the Rings of Saturn for the tap at 7:35.

    Neville poses but we get Austin Aries News Network breaking news. Aries wants to know who is going to win the Cruiserweight Title match and asks......New Day. Kofi things Aries needs to use his hips and dancing ensues. That's enough for New Day's endorsement as Neville looks disgusted.

    Al Roker will be guest ring announcer for the Wrestlemania mixed tag. Uh.....yeah I think that speaks for itself.

    We look at Goldberg eliminating Lesnar from the Royal Rumble.

    Here's Reigns for his big talk about Undertaker. He was in this building two years ago when he won the Royal Rumble and then went on to main event two straight Wrestlemanias. Roman, sounding rather heelish, doesn't care what the people say and doesn't care what Undertaker thinks: this is his building and this is his yard. The gong strikes and Undertaker is on screen in the graveyard.

    We see him digging the grave, which is in a special part of the cemetery. At Wrestlemania, the Roman Empire will crumble and the ultimate thrill ride will be Reigns' Last Ride. Reigns should live each day like its his last because at Wrestlemania, he will.......and there go the lights because Undertaker is in the ring. As he was saying, Reigns will rest in peace. The lights go dim again and Reigns isn't phased.

    Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Anderson and Gallows

    Non-title. Enzo and Cass imitate Allen Iverson's PRACTICE rant from about seventeen years ago. And never mind as Sheamus and Cesaro attack all four with a ladder.

    Women's History Month video on Maya Angelou.

    Kevin Owens doesn't want to hear about Chris Jericho being his former best friend. Sure he used to be a Jericho fan but he doesn't want to remember convincing his parents to buy him any more Jericho gear. This Sunday, the ultimate thrill ride is turning into Jericho's ultimate nightmare.

    Long video on HHH vs. Rollins with HHH talking about Rollins collapsing underneath the pressure (meaning his knee injury) and giving up everything he was handed. This gets the big music video treatment and does a good job setting up a very shaky story.

    We run down the Wrestlemania card. The Cruiserweight Title is officially on the Kickoff Show.

    Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

    Anything goes. If Sami wins he's in the battle royal but if he loses, he's fired from Raw. Sami goes after him in the corner and they're quickly on the floor with Owens shoving Zayn off the barricade when the moonsault slips. Owens gets sent knee first into a wall though and we take a break.

    Back with Owens DDTing him onto the steps for two. The Cannonball connects but Owens tries for a second, which is countered into the exploder into the corner. The diving DDT through the ropes spikes Owens into the floor but he blocks the Helluva Kick with a superkick. I do love the KICK HIM IN THE FACE mentality. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered into a Blue Thunder Bomb for two....and here comes Samoa Joe. Before he can get to the ring though, Chris Jericho jumps him from behind, allowing Sami to roll Owens up for the pin at 11:08.

    Post match, Jericho chairs Owens down and puts him on the List. It's really impressive that they waited that long to finally do the big line from Jericho and it worked....mostly.

    Here are Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar for the big closing segment. Lesnar is the extremist who is going to derail Goldberg's ultimate thrill ride. The Universal Title is what matters most around here because it's the one (Heyman: “There's a number you're familiar with at Wrestlemania.”) thing that matters more than anything else. Lesnar craves and lusts after that title but more than that he wants to destroy Goldberg.

    While Goldberg may be the man, Lesnar is the Beast that will chew him up and spit him out at Wrestlemania. Now we need a reason to get people to buy the show (“Or buy a ticket off a secondary market because Wrestlemania is sold out. Thanks for the house Brock!”) so here it is: Goldberg is going to Suplex City! Lesnar doesn't fear the spear because Goldberg can't survive the F5. Here's Goldberg to say the people are here to see us fight, meaning it's a spear to Lesnar in the aisle. Lesnar is down on the floor as Goldberg poses to end the show.

    Bayley/Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax/Charlotte – Bayley to Belly to Charlotte
    Austin Aries b. Noam Dar – Last Chancery
    An Over the Top Rope Challenge went to a no contest
    Neville b. Jack Gallagher – Rings of Saturn
    Sami Zayn b. Kevin Owens – Rollup


    Date: March 28, 2017
    Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
    Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga

    It's the final Smackdown before Wrestlemania and that means.....well likely it means a bunch of promos and a few matches here and there but that's standard operating procedure for this time of year. I'd expect a big push towards Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt and some more names being announced for the battle royal so let's get to it.

    No Mauro again, though now we know why (having a severe bout of depression apparently so hopefully he's getting the rest/treatment he needs).

    Here's Daniel Bryan to get us going with a contract signing between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon. Shane says this place is supposed to be somewhere families can come and be entertained with AJ as a major part of that. Personal feelings aside, Shane knows AJ is phenomenal. AJ agrees, but Shane keeps going by saying it was AJ's ego that got him in trouble. It was his ego that cost him the WWE Championship and got inside his head because he wasn't on the Wrestlemania card (I'd think he has a right to be angry over that one).

    Shane is ready for him though and knows he'll bring out the best in AJ. The boss signs and AJ reminds him that this isn't going to be a street fight but rather a regular match, where Styles in untouchable. AJ lists off some of the greats that Shane has been in the ring with but none of them were the Phenomenal AJ Styles. The contract is signed and the table is tossed but Bryan stops things just in time. He asks for a handshake and Shane is willing but AJ walks away smiling.

    Becky Lynch vs. Carmella

    Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are on commentary and James Ellsworth does Carmella's entrance. For some reason Carmella gives Ellsworth her gum and runs away from the threat of a kick to the ribs. As Carmella goes after Becky, Bliss and James get in a fight which spills into the ring. Both of them wind up hitting Carmella and that's a DQ (which will be treated as a no contest because WWE doesn't quite understand the basic rules of wrestling) at 2:13.

    Becky Lynch/Mickie James vs. Carmella/Alexa Bliss

    Joined in progress with Mickie hitting Bliss with a running dropkick for two. Becky comes in to a nice pop but Carmella tags herself in, sending Bliss into some screeching. Bliss offers a bit of a distraction though and Mickie gets kicked down as the heels take over. Did Mickie ever turn face? She doesn't really need to but it would be a nice plot point to clarify.

    Bliss grabs a chinlock but here's Natalya down the ramp as we take a break. Back with Natalya on commentary and Bliss charging into an elbow in the corner. The hot tag brings in Becky, who Natalya calls a Pippi Longstocking knockoff. That's not enough for Natalya as she gets on the apron for a distraction, allowing Ellsworth to trip Lynch up and give Carmella the pin at 9:12.

    The brawl continues post match until Naomi makes her return for the save. In case it wasn't clear enough for you, Naomi officially announces her entrance into the Women's Title match.

    Tyler Breeze, as Nikki Bella, offers his services for the Women's Title match. Bryan says no but Fandango comes in and they get spots in the Andre Battle Royal, plus in a ten man tag with some other participants tonight. Not a bad parting gift.

    Here are Miz and Maryse for MizTV. Tonight we get a special treat: the rest of the “lost” Total Bellas episodes (if Miz isn't Bryan this time, I'll be rather disappointed). After a recap of last week, Miz (as Cena) yells about people being late for dinner. Miz has some issues with reading his cue cards until Maryse (playing Nikki) starts talking about the pitter patter of little feet. This brings in the other guests: Maryse as Brie and MIZ AS BRYAN!!!

    Daniel, with a huge beard, needs a phone book to sit on and the couple brags about marriage. Daniel isn't happy with having steak but is pleased with his juicebox. Cena reads off the rules for how to eat and, again, it's hilarious given how robotic Cena comes off on Total Bellas. Another fake proposal sees John demand that Nikki take her rules seriously. This time Nikki asks John to marry her and it's to be continued.

    Part two is after a break with Cena saying no because it would damage his brand. He's hustled the fans by convincing them he's something he's not. He's loyal to himself and he only respects money. Cena can never give up because someone more deserving, such as Miz, will take his spot away. You can't see him because there's no real person to be seen. Miz and Maryse flip the costumes away and promise to make Wrestlemania their curtain calls.

    Without WWE, Cena can just lumber around and pretend to be a star. After Wrestlemania, everyone will know that their lives are total BS. This was great serious stuff to go with the comedy, which isn't a surprise from these two anymore. Back in the arena, here are Cena and Bella to respond. Cena makes fun of everything Miz did and says sure Nikki and Brie have moments where they're too dumb to tell each other apart (the fact that this is considered ok might sum up my entire issue with reality TV).

    After the praise, Cena asks how Nikki could hold Maryse out of WWE if she's here now? Maybe Maryse wasn't asked back because she didn't do anything in her first run (What exactly did Nikki do in her first run John? Maryse had two Divas Titles to Nikki's one and was a far better character and worker. I know why he said it but that doesn't make it true.).

    Next we have Miz's Hollywood theory for Cena, but John is more brand loyal than anyone other than Vince McMahon and no one can get rid of him. Miz leaves to make movies of his own but only ones Cena made first. That's what Cena can't get: what is Miz doing here anyway? There's a Women's Revolution going on right now and last week, Nikki beat up Tyler Breeze (Can we never bring that up again?) and Miz is using Maryse to get on Total Divas. Oh and how many kids do Miz and Maryse have? Cena: “You firing blanks there sport?”

    Cena calls them all talk because Miz never knows how to stop running his mouth. John rips off the gear so he's here man to man and promises to destroy Miz and Maryse on Wrestlemania. If you want to talk tough, you better be tough but Miz is a p***y. Miz is offered a free shot but the villains back away again. Nikki promises a beating on Sunday to wrap things up.

    This was OUTSTANDING stuff and again some of the best talking Miz has ever done. While Miz and Maryse have been nailing the story from the beginning, this was the first time I really bought Cena's rebuttal. Basically Cena had been saying Miz didn't know himself but now Cena actually had some examples to really hammer the point home. I'm looking forward to the match and I'm actually buying Miz and Maryse having a chance, which is a lot more than I was expecting. Nikki beating Maryse would be far more acceptable than Cena beating Miz, but you can probably pencil in the stereo submissions.

    American Alpha/Mojo Rawley/Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Usos/Breezango/Dolph Ziggler

    All ten of them will be in the battle royal. Jordan and Ziggler start things off with an amateur sequence on the mat and Dolph is just in over his head. Gable comes in to take over on Ziggler's arm and it's off to Slater for more of the same. Rhyno adds a belly to belly as this is one sided so far.

    Back from an early break with Gable getting taken into the wrong corner so Fandango can come in for two off a hard whip into the corner. I know he's a low level guy but maybe an improvement in offense would help. Jimmy dives over to break up the tag but Gable drops him as well, meaning it's off to the (near) hometown boy with Rawley cleaning house. A parade of superkicks is capped off with Rhyno Goring Ziggler, followed by Rawley's running right hand knocking out Breeze at 11:00.

    Luke Harper has seen the truth: he doesn't need Bray Wyatt. Bray should run.

    We run down the Wrestlemania card. Naomi is officially added to the Smackdown Women's Title match, which has been moved to the pre-show. As a bonus, the Raw Tag Team Titles match will now be a ladder match.

    We see Bray doing.....something to Orton with that stick thing last week. Yeah I'm still not sure what that was, though multiple masked men helping him is interesting.

    Bray Wyatt vs. Luke Harper

    Non-title and Harper is now in a clean black shirt. Dang he really is mixing it up. Bray starts fast with the running body attack but gets dropkicked out to the floor and punched in the face. Harper throws him over the barricade and we take an early break. Back with Luke escaping the release Rock Bottom, only to have Bray block the powerbomb. That means the Rock Bottom can connect, only to have Sister Abigail broken up. Luke gets in the suicide dive and a big boot is good for two. Back up and Bray goes into trance mode, freezing Luke long enough for Sister Abigail to put him away at 8:33.

    Post match Orton appears on screen, kneeling over Sister Abigail's grave. Bray has claimed that Abigail gave her powers to him but Orton pulls out the same weapon used on him last week (How did he get that?) and stabs the dirt. Orange sparks fly out to end the show on a rather dumb note.

    Carmella b. Becky Lynch via DQ when Alexa Bliss and Mickie James interfered
    Carmella/Alexa Bliss b. Becky Lynch/Mickie James – Rollup to Lynch
    Mojo Rawley/Heath Slater/Rhyno/American Alpha b. Usos/Breezango/Dolph Ziggler – Running right hand to Breeze
    Bray Wyatt b. Luke Harper – Sister Abigail


    Date: March 29, 2017
    Location: University Area CDC Gymnasium, Tampa, Florida
    Commentators: Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips

    It's the final show before Takeover: Orlando and that means most of the card is set, though you can probably guarantee one more match that we'll get to later. The show has been starting to look better in recent weeks though I'm not entirely sold yet. Tonight we'll have a Loser Leaves NXT match between Kassius Ohno and Elias Samson so let's get to it.

    Opening sequence.

    Akam vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Dash Wilder

    Preview for Saturday's triple threat for the Tag Team Titles. Akam goes after Wilder so Johnny jumps on the big man's back, because that's always worked so well over the years. Double teaming works a bit better though as Dawson dropkicks him to the floor before turning on Gargano almost immediately. Akam gets back in but he has to snarl at Scott Dawson for some attempted interference as we take a break.

    Back with the Revival nowhere to be seen (apparently they just left instead of merely backing away before the break), leaving Akam to put Gargano in a torture rack. Johnny escapes and slugs away to limited avail before the slingshot spear is good for two. Unfortunately he decides to look away for a second and turns back into a boot to the face.

    Johnny comes right back with three straight superkicks but Ra'zar pulls Gargano out at two. That earns Ciampa a beating on the floor and Johnny's slingshot DDT is caught in mid-air. One heck of a powerbomb plants Gargano but here's Dawson to grab Akam's leg. Naturally that means Wilder can slide back in and steal the pin on Gargano at 10:11.

    Video on Aleister Black vs. Andrade Cien Almas.

    Heavy Machinery vs. Jonathan Ordegen/Mike Marshall

    That would be Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight as your standard big guy tag team, though they're not huge enough to make them immobile blobs. Tucker and I think Jonathan start things off and we're already in a bearhug. Otis tags himself in so Tucker throws Ordegen into another bearhug for a cool spot. Now it's Marshall being pulled in for a double shoulder and a double chest bump to send the jobbers outside.

    Ordegen offers a distraction so Marshall can get in a shot from behind on Knight, which pretty much wraps up the team's offense. Otis comes back in and cleans house with clotheslines and elbows, including one to put Jonathan back outside. Dozovic picks up Marshall for a slam but doesn't put him down, allowing Tucker to crash into Mike's back. Otis picks Knight up and slams him down onto Marshall for the pin at 3:37.

    We go to William Regal's office for the contract signing between Asuka and Ember Moon. Asuka snickers at Ember's name but Ember says Asuka has let the success go to her head. Ember signs and Asuka does the same with Moon saying she's been ready for a long time. Regal says good luck and we're done in maybe two minutes.

    Long video on Bobby Roode vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. The video presents a battle for the future of NXT with Roode being out for himself while Nakamura does what the fans want. That's about as basic of a heel vs. face feud as you're going to get and that's just fine.

    Paul Ellering and the Authors of Pain think DIY's fairy tale ends soon and the Revival just wants to be them.

    Sanity vs. Ruby Riot/No Way Jose/Tye Dillinger/Roderick Strong is confirmed for Takeover.

    Kassius Ohno vs. Elias Samson

    Loser leaves NXT. They trade rollups to start before taking turns on the arm. Ohno gets the better of it, though sadly that means we have to look at his rather disturbing looking thighs. A backsplash gets two on Samson but they head to the apron where Ohno is sent into the post for a big crash onto the steps.

    Back from a break with Samson working on the injured back with some kicks and knees. He switches gears with a Crossface though and Ohno has to roll over three times before making the ropes. Ohno blasts him in the jaw with some hard strikes, including a jumping knee to the face. A big boot gets two but a neckbreaker is countered into a backslide for two. Samson's swinging neckbreaker gets the same, only to have Ohno blast him with the discus forearm to get rid of Samson at 12:47.

    Samson is dragged away by security but agrees to go quietly if he's given his guitar back. Ohno offers to hand it back before stomping on it instead.

    One last Takeover promo wraps up the show.

    Dash Wilder b. Johnny Gargano and Akam – Powerbomb to Gargano
    Heavy Machinery b. Jonathan Ordegen/Mike Marshall – Dozovic slammed Knight onto Marshall
    Kassius Ohno b. Elias Samson – Discus forearm

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