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This Monday Night Raw comes to us on leap day from Nashville! The big news coming out of WWE this week is that The Undertaker will make his presence felt tonight! After the shocking turn of events last week featuring Shane McMahons iconic return, and Mr. McMahons announcement that his son will face the Deadman inside hell in a cell at WrestleMania its no surprise that Taker is coming to shake things up this week. Also, last week we saw Roman Reigns get demolished at the hands of his WrestleMania opponent, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, HHH! How will Roman respond this week? We also heard the announcement that Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch will go one on one to determine who will face Charlotte at WrestleMania! This should hopefully be an action packed Raw as we head down the Road to WrestleMania!
PROMO: The first promo of the night goes to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, HHH! He starts off with talking about how authority is in everyone's life, and they hate it. They want to stand up to it, but they don't because they are afraid. The fear is not a bad thing, however, it is there so we know our place so he says. He then says Roman should've listened to that fear and known his place. But instead he chose to challenge him, and disrespect him. He then says that the challenge got Roman sitting at home breathing through a straw and hoping his WrestleMania hopes are still alive. Then out comes Dean Ambrose! Dean says he just got off the phone with Roman, and he says that he is coming for Hunter. HHH, then jokes that Dean won supporting actor in a "bromance" last night at the Oscars. Dean says he was going to talk to Hunter last week, but he was a little busy with Brock Lesnar. Ambrose then asks, "Who did you want to win the triple threat match at Fastlane? Better yet, who did you not want to win?" and Hunter answered that the only people that mattered were Lesnar and Reigns and it was easy to see that Dean wasn't a factor in it. Dean says that he thinks he was the last guy Hunter wanted to face at WrestleMania. Dean says that he is smart enough to know that HHH never wants to get into the ring with a guy like him, because he knows he can't beat him. Dean then calls for some action from the COO of WWE, and says it should be him versus the champ. He then says it should be for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. HHH then tells him that's not how it works. He's the authority around these parts, but he admits it does intrigue him. He promises that he'll think about it, and get back to him by the end of the night. HHH then says Dean has other things to do, and that he has a match against Alberto Del Rio with all his friends at ringside. And we'll see if he can respect authority. That'll be the main event tonight apparently.
DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDERS MATCH: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
This match will decide who goes on to face Charlotte, who is at ringside, at WrestleMania for the Diva's Championship!
Sasha Banks starts off on fire here, and almost gets a quick pin fall. Then both women try for their signature submission moves, but they stop at a stalemate. Becky then hits a baseball slide kick, and then a clothesline off the apron to take control. Then Sasha hits a knee to the nose and throws her into the steel ring post.
We come back with Sasha still in control. She goes for a move in the corner, but Becky dodges it and its a big kick and Bexploder Suplex for a two count. Then Sasha hits a double knee to the face for a two-count as well. After a long series of reversals Becky goes to the top rope for a drop kick for a close two-count. Becky goes for Sasha's arm again, but Sasha gets away. Then Becky hits an elbow almost knocking Sasha out of the ring. Both women are on the top rope, and Sasha hits a sunset flip power bomb and lands on top of Becky. The ref counts a three-count with all four shoulders on the ground. Therefore both ladies have been pinned and the match ends in a draw.
The match ends with both ladies in confusion, and wondering what their WrestleMania plans will be.
RESULT: A rare double pin causes the match to end in a draw.
THOUGHTS: I had a feeling that WrestleMania would be a triple threat match because Becky and Sasha both have been on fire lately. I like the double pin angle, and I have a feeling we will have a triple threat announcement next week.
PROMO: Bray Wyatt is on the big screen talking about insanity. Saying that his mind is the key to saving the world. Go with him and he will give you eternal paradise, or defy him and end up like the rest. By "the rest" he must mean if we defy him we will get to beat him in a big time match because they never let him win one.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Ziggler uses his amateur wrestling background to get ahead in the match. Then goes to some drop kicks and elbows. He then goes for the super kick, but Miz dodges it and gets a quick pin fall victory.
RESULT: The Miz wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Well.. I wasn't expecting this at all, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it.
They replay the return of Shane-O-Mac last week.
PROMO: Stephanie is coming to the ring to give her acceptance speech for the award she won last week, but was interrupted by her brother. As she tries to get through her speech, she is repeatedly stopped by the booing crowd. And the crowd chanting "We want Shane". She then lost control and knocked over the podium, and then goes on a rant about her brother. Saying he abandoned his family, and that he doesn't care about any of them. But of course she loves her brother, but doesn't respect him over the repeated stabs in the back like last week. She then says that The Undertaker is going to dismember him at WrestleMania.
MATCH: Lucha Dragons vs. League of Nations
Sheamus and Rusev will represent the League of Nations in this one.
Rusev pins Kalisto for the win.
Del Rio then assaults Kalisto after the match.
RESULT: The League of Nations wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: It wasn't a bad match, but just not something I was sucked into.
PROMO: Renee talks to Natty in the back for a cheap Subway plug.
MATCH: Ryback vs. Adam Rose
The rest of the Social Outcasts are at ringside.
Ryback starts off in control. Using his power and size as advantage. Rose lands a couple punched and also lands some big kicks and a drop kick for a two-count. Ryback then rebounds and just starts pounding Adam Rose with vicious punched until the ref pulls him off. He then hits a Shellshock for the win and leaves.
RESULT: Ryback wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Wow. I like this Ryback. Walk in, beat him up, pin him, and leave. Easy peasy.
MATCH: The New Day vs. Y2AJ (Chris Jericho & AJ Styles)
Kofi and Big E represent The New Day with Xavier at ringside!
Kofi goes for the Trouble in Paradise, but Jericho catches him and locks in the Walls of Jericho for the win.
AJ grabs a mic and says that this win puts Y2AJ in the hunt for the tag team titles. Jericho grabs a mic and says he agrees and wants that match on Raw next week!
RESULT: Y2AJ win via submission.
THOUGHTS: Now this is what a great tag team match is all about! Great stuff.
PROMO: The Deadman returns to talk about his match against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania! But first.. Mr. McMahon! He goes through the situation that would happen if Shane were to defeat Taker at WrestleMania. He then says that he loves his son, and he loves him enough to show him a lesson. And show him that lesson by pitting him against The Undertaker. The gongs hit, the lights go out, and the Deadman comes down to the ring on Monday Night Raw! The most iconic character to ever be created in pro wrestling is ready to speak his mind. Standing side by side with the man that hatched the idea.. Vincent Kennedy McMahon. As Vince starts saying Taker is his "force of destruction" Taker grabs his throat. Taker then says "You know what I do when I close that door behind me. The blood of your son will be on your hands.. Not mine." and leaves the ring. The most badass 15 second promo ever. Vince then says if Shane loses he will write Shane out of his will and leave it all to Stephanie, and that he will renounce Shane as his son. He will just be a "son of a bitch".
MATCH: Jey Uso (W Jimmy) vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w D-Von)
Jey starts off in attack mode, but Bubba shuts that down quick. Bubba using his slaps, but gets caught trash talking. On the outside Jimmy Uso goes after D-Von, D-Von grabs a table and throws it at Jimmy mid-air and then eats a super kick from Jey. When Jey gets back in the ring, Bubba hits a full-Nelson slam for the win.
RESULT: Bubba Ray wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I love heel Dudleys!
PROMO: R-Truth and Goldust get another skit in. This time R-Truth says he is "done" and Goldust walks away sad.
MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Big Show
Big Show goes straight at KO and even hits a big spear! After the spear, KO rolls out of the ring, and Big Show chases. KO throws him into the ring post and then hits him with a super kick. When KO sees that Show is going to make it back to the ring before a 10 count he runs out and hits a DDT on the floor, and Big Show makes it back to the ring at a 8 count. Big Show then starts the comeback in the ring. He throws him onto the ring ropes and KO falls to the outside and loses by count out.
RESULT: Big Show wins via count-out.
THOUGHTS: I guess this is the same way that KO won on SmackDown.. Which is why I don't watch SmackDown.
PROMO: Renee is talking to Brie about the loss at Fastlane, and then ask about Daniel and Nikki. Then Lana shows up, and says that Brie always "bites the big one". She then says that Brie's husband can't provide for her, and she like her marriage is doomed to fail. Brie says that she can talk to her once she actually steps in the ring.
MATCH: Naomi(w Tamina) vs. Brie
Naomi starts off in control, but Brie reverses and gets an arm bar. Naomi then hits a huge kick with Brie on the apron, distracts the ref, and Tamina gets involved. Naomi then hits a big leg drop for a two-count. She then hits a big running bulldog throwing Bries head into the second turnbuckle for a two-count. Brie ducks under a kick, and then starts the "YES!" kicks, and hits the Brie mode running knee. She takes out Tamina, but the distraction almost costs her. Naomi then locks in her new submission move for the win.
Lana then comes out and laughs. That's it. Just laughs.
RESULT: Naomi wins via submission.
THOUGHTS: Not a bad match, but nothing worth writing home about.
They announce that the Fabulous Freebirds are the next inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame.
PROMO: Becky and Sasha are arguing about who would've won if there was more time in their match. Charlotte then shows up and tells them that they have one last chance on SmackDown to find out who will face her at WrestleMania.
They announce that next week on Raw Y2AJ will challenge The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championships, and that Shane-O-Mac will be back to respond to what The Undertaker and his father had to say tonight!
MATCH: Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio (w League of Nations)
Del Rio starts off in control against the bandaged Dean Ambrose, and throws him into not one.. Not two.. But three barricades outside the ring. Dean makes it to the ring at an 8 count, and Del Rio continues the assault. A DDT gets him a two-count, and he then hits a big move from the top rope for another two-count. Dean then tries to stage a comeback, but Del Rio locks in the cross arm breaker, but breaks it before the five count. Ambrose then hits a swinging neck breaker, but Del Rio gets the upper hand again. Dean then reverses a move and starts another comeback, but Del Rio hits a backstabber. Del Rio then hits his suspended double foot stomp while Dean is dangling from the barricade and crashes into the floor. Ambrose gets to the ring at a 9 count. Out of nowhere Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, Del Rio counters but gets a clothesline for his troubles. After a running bulldog, Ambrose gets a two-count. Del Rio has Ambrose set up for a superplex, but Ambrose knocks him off and hits a missile dropkick for a two-count. He goes for a tackle in the corner but gets a shoulder full of steel post instead. However, Dean goes top rope to take out the entire League of Nations.
All the sudden out comes The Game! He signals The League of Nations to attack Ambrose, and they jump on him like dogs. HHH shakes hand with all the LON members, and grabs a mic. He says that people like Dean will never understand authority, and then Dean snaps and goes off on HHH. But Hunter hits a Pedigree from hell after that last attempt that Ambrose could muster. HHH's last words were "You want a championship match with me? You're on." and leaves the ring. But before he can completely leave the arean, Dean Ambrose crawls to the mic and says "Hey, Hunter. Thanks." That makes HHH turn right back to the ring to attack Dean again. This time involving the announce table. Again the refs are out to try and contain HHH as he is beating the holy hell out of Ambrose on the announce table. They finally pull HHH back, and he leaves with title in hand.
RESULT: Dean Ambrose wins via DQ.
THOUGHTS: All around this was a great segment. I LOVE Hunter as champion, and this is exactly why. He is still that same old Cerebral Assassin when he wants to be, and I love it.
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