WWE usually throws a lot at us when it comes to the final episode of television before a pay-per-view.
However, that wasn't the case this time around.
WWE threw a couple of good things at us, which I will cover momentarily, but the final episode of Raw before Fastlane felt mostly uneventful.
Raw did a good job of showcasing the main angles that are playing out on the show, but everything else felt like it was just kind of thrown out there. It was almost as if WWE was going through the motions if the story didn't involve names like Triple H, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Goldberg or Braun Strowman.
If one of those men weren't involved in the story, WWE didn't put much of its creative talent behind it.
Surely, the women's division got a lengthy segment and match, but neither presented anything we haven't seen before.
It is weird to think Raw hit a bit of a speed bump — pardon the pun — right before Fastlane, as the show had been quite good the last few weeks.
Despite this show being less-than-stellar, the Fastlane card is still looks pretty good on paper.
Before that, however, I shall go in-depth on what occurred Monday night. Here are the full match results from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisc.:
- The New Day def. Rusev & Jinder Mahal
- Akira Tozawa def. Noam Dar
- Charlotte Flair & Nia Jax def. Bayley & Sasha Banks
- Big Cass def. Luke Gallows
- Sheamus def. Titus O'Neil
- Big Show def. The Shining Stars
- Jack Gallagher & TJ Perkins def. Neville & Tony Nese
- Samoa Joe def. Cesaro
Seth Rollins will be at WrestleMania
Despite his ailing knee, Rollins vowed Monday night that he will be at WrestleMania on April 2.
While Rollins, who went to the ring with the help of a crutch, confirmed that he would appear on the biggest show of the year, WWE was careful not to say that Rollins would be in a match. Rollins only said that he would be there. The capacity he'll be there in is still up in the air as of this writing.
Rollins' declaration came after a lengthy but good back-and-forth with Triple H, who came out to rub salt in Rollins' wound after he told Corey Graves that his doctors might not clear him in time to perform at WrestleMania.
Triple H, with Joe lurking in the background, warned Rollins not to show up to WrestleMania because it may be the last thing he does in WWE.
Rollins defiantly said that he has nothing else to lose and he'll be at WrestleMania whether the doctors clear him or not and if he's there, it would be the last thing they both do.
Like I said earlier, this was long, but it was still very good. It made me look forward to whatever Rollins actually does at WrestleMania.
It may not be a match. It may only be an angle, but it should be rather intriguing to see how it all plays out.
Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns tore the ring a part
The final segment of Raw was dedicated to the contract signing for Sunday's match between Reigns and Strowman, and most of it was nothing we haven't seen before.
But the very end, however, presented something pretty memorable.
Raw general manager Mick Foley oversaw the proceedings, but was told to leave by Strowman, who said that Foley was no longer needed.
Instead of leaving, Foley put his foot down and reminded Strowman that he is the general manager of Raw and that Strowman would show him respect.
Strowman didn't seem too happy with Foley's tone, but before anything could happen, Reigns showed up.
Reigns and Strowman brawled into the crowd and only came back to ringside when Reigns speared Strowman through the barricade, taking out a security guard in the process.
Reigns climbed back into the ring and almost signed the contract, but didn't and suddenly flashed a shocked look on his face, as Strowman made his way back to his feet as if nothing happened to him.
Strowman jumped back into the ring and eventually tossed Reigns chest first into one of the turnbuckles, which caused it to snap off the ring post. While Strowman strutted away, Reigns still made his to the contract and signed it.
This was an awesome showcase of Strowman's power and was something I have never seen before. It might have been done somewhere else in the wide world of professional wrestling, but I have never seen something like that, so I have to give kudos to WWE for getting creative with this brawl.
It could have easily ended in yet another power slam from Strowman or a spear from Reigns, but it didn't. It created a moment that people walked away from the event talked about.
Foley no longer having nice days
Speaking of Foley, it looks like the story surrounding him is based around counting down the days until he snaps and either resigns from his general manager position or does something that gets him fired.
In reality, Foley leaving is inevitable, as he will be taking time off to undergo surgery on his hip, but in storyline, it is slowly building.
On Monday, Foley was berated, once again, by Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon, who basically said that Foley was washed up.
Later on in the show Foley got into a bit of a verbal confrontation with Joe. He then yelled to the top of his lungs so that Strowman would respect his authority.
I know there are some fans that have grown fatigued of Foley and his act, but when all of this hits the proverbial fan, I think people will learn to appreciate Foley, which is par for the course for professional wrestling, especially WWE.
Separation makes the heart grow fonder and when someone is on television every single week, you kind of get tired of seeing them but once Foley goes away, people may begin to miss him again.
Time will tell on that one, I guess.
Sami Zayn vs. Joe heating up
Something on Raw that has not had a bunch of elaborate storytelling, but has still been entertaining nonetheless has been the Zayn-Joe rivalry.
After suffering beatings from Joe in consecutive weeks, Zayn finally gained a measure of revenge by attacking Joe after his match against Cesaro Monday night.
Once Joe made his way to the stage after the match, Zayn came from out of nowhere and began beating on him. Joe managed to fend him off while referees and security attempted to separate the two.
That obviously didn't work, as Zayn managed to dive off the stage onto Joe before everyone could get in between them again. All of this set up a match between Zayn and Joe at Fastlane.
Like I said earlier, this has been very good given its simplicity, which goes to show that simple can be very effective sometimes.
Sidenote: I was really looking forward to the match between Joe and Cesaro and it probably was pretty good, but the television missed a good portion of due to a commercial break.
I know that is par for the course for WWE, but it was still a bit of a let down.
Women's division going nowhere fast
Something that has not been effective is the storytelling in the Raw women's division.
I have said before that the Raw women's division is essentially the inverse of the Smackdown Live one.
The Raw women's division typically produces tremendous in-ring action, but lackadaisical stories. The Smackdown Live women's division is the opposite, as it has produced some great stories and promos, but has been trailed far behind the Raw women's division in the ring.
The problem with the Raw side is that I'm not all that interested in what happens with the women until they get into the ring.
Another issue is that there are only five of them doing anything. Although Smackdown Live uses about six on a weekly basis, the blue brand gets the absolute most out of those six. On top of that, Smackdown Live makes sure that every episode feels different with the women.
On Raw, it feels like we're watching reruns of the same show over and over and over again.
It doesn't help that Summer Rae and Paige have been on the sidelines nursing injuries and in Paige's case, has had a rocky relationship with the company as of late, but then you have Emma, who has been nothing more than a video package that has turned into a running joke amongst the fans.
Alicia Fox, who is a pretty good wrestler, has been reduced to being only Noam Dar's valet and nothing else.
Needless to say, Raw isn't getting the most out of its women's division.