Monday Night RAW Recap – February 27, 2017

The show opens with Goldberg’s music.  It must be part of the contract with these part-timers to either pre-tape segments or get them out in the first hour so they can go home early.  After what seems like an eternity, Goldberg reaches the ring to chants of “GOLDBERG.”  After a few moments, Goldberg gives a dispassionate promo about facing Kevin Owens, whose best trait is the ability to “talk,” according to Goldberg.  His plan at Fastlane this Sunday: spear-Jackhammer-victory…as if anyone thought he would have a different plan.  At least the promo is fairly quick.  He’s about to leave the ring when KO’s music hits.  Owens comes out.  When he got to the WWE, he made himself a promise: “to grab this company by the throat” and show them who he is.  He goes through the list of whom he’s beat: Cena, Ambrose, AJ, Rollins, Reigns, Jericho.  He engages in some wordplay surrounding the word “next,” which is already overdone.  Golberg says it was a nice little speech but did nothing “but really pissed him off.”  He wants to give Green Bay something to cheer for and face right now.  “I don’t speak Neanderthal,” says Owens, but he interprets the comments to mean Goldberg wants to go right now.  He says it’s time for a Green Bay Street Fight.  He approaches the ring and then stops.  He remembers he’s in Green Bay, and they don’t “deserve” to see him wrestle.  He walks away saying they’ll wrestle at Fastlane.

Goldberg and Owens promo

Outcome: This was a pretty standard back-and-forth to open the show to hype the match this Sunday.  While they are trying to make Owens credible again, and it is somewhat working, hopefully they don’t let Goldberg crush him en route to Wrestlemania.  At least the segment was under twelve minutes.   

The New Day come out. Awwww yeah.  Another short promo thankfully. The Shining Stars come out for some reason, but they aren’t facing The New Day.  Apparently, they are facing The Big Show later. It’s unclear whether that’s joke or not or if anyone cares.  Instead, they are facing Jinder Mahal and “Handsome” Rusev.  The match is standard, nothing excited.  Xavier pins Mahal with a roll-up.

Outcome: Treading water with all these talents until after Wrestlemania?  Rusev needs a babyface turn for something fresh. The New Day is stale and need to engage in a real feud, break up, or at least remain a stable of singles wrestlers.  Mahal needs to popped for Wellness.

Backstage promo time!  Enzo and Cass are shown as they will be facing Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson at Fastlane.  Like last week, Enzo is being more obnoxious than ever.  Cass seems to notice this and warns him that Anderson and Gallows have won tag titles all over the world while he and Enzo have never won tag team gold.

Outcome: This feels like a breakup or at the least a heel turn for one or both men.

Sheamus and Cesaro talk about their loss last week when Samoa Joe interrupts.  Joe asks Cesaro how it feels that he came into WWE with a brass ring around his neck when Cesaro was still reaching for his.  Cesaro responds that he doesn’t see Joe carrying anything on him except HHH’s jock.  Joe tells him to keep being “clever.”  “It’s done a lot for you so far.”

Outcome: Best sixty seconds of RAW so far.  At least this could lead to an entertaining match as long as they don’t insist on giving it five minutes.

Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley backstage. Stephanie wants to apologize for last week.  Mick retorts, “Apologize?  A McMahon?”  Stephanie says that Foley is a legend that would go to any lengths in a match to get the job done, “but that’s not the Mick Foley she got.”  She reminds him today is the 17th anniversary of HHH retiring him.  She says, “Every year, HHH seems to be getting stronger and stronger while you, Mick, do the opposite.  You just seem to get weaker. I mean I don’t think I calculated just how far you have fallen from grace into the abyss of despair and misery.  You’re a shell of yourself, Mick. I know you don’t measure up to my expectations, but now, I think you don’t even measure to your own expectations.  I don’t know what you see in the mirror when you look at it every single morning.  The only thing I can think is you recognize with every step you just get more feeble and more pathetic.  So, Mick, I apologize from the bottom of my heart that I put you in this position, that the man who could stand up against anyone and anything can hardly even stand at all.”  Foley gives smiles coldly at her as she walks away.

Stephanie abuses Mick

Outcome: If Foley has to keep taking this type of verbal abuse, one can only hope there is some form of comeuppance for Stephanie. She verbally degrades stars every other week with no comeuppance besides the Roman spear last Wrestlemania, which never felt like a real punishment because it was a means to try to get Roman a cheap pop.  Sadly, this will just end up being another moment where Stephanie looks strong and no one does anything.  This also signifies that Foley is definitely gone from TV soon.

Random unannounced cruiserweight match No. 1: Akira Tozawa and Noam Dar with Alicia “Fuuuucks.”  Tozawa wins with the bridging German suplex in the stipulated six minutes and is attacked afterwards by The Brian Kendrick, who is teaching him another lesson.

Outcome: This builds to a match that will probably be featured on 205 Live and that maybe a few thousand RAW viewers will actually see.

After the break, Samoa Joe and Mick Foley are backstage. Joe lets no man tell him what to do.  Foley says while he’s still GM, Joe will answer to him and orders a match against Cesaro.  Joe seethes.

Next, we have Charlotte and Dana Brooke versus Sasha Banks and Bayley.  Charlotte comes out and cuts the best promo of the night so far.  She rundowns down Bayley as a “normal” like the audience members.  She also calls her “a cheater” for winning the title the way she did.  She’s not wrong.  Bayley comes out and doubles down on her rationale for keeping the title. It still makes her a heel a week later.  She talks about fulfilling her dream of being champion, but she has another dream and points to the Wrestlemania sign.  This might have been groan-inducing anyway, but after last week, it’s even more so. Charlotte tells her, “I’m so sick of hearing about your dreams.”  Amen, sister. Sasha comes out and makes things worse as per usual anymore.  Charlotte announces her tag partner isn’t Brooke but Nia Jax.  The women put on a decent eight minute match that ends with Nia leg dropping Bayley for the win.

Charlotte’s promo

Outcome: The number of time all of these women have wrestled is exhausting and makes their matches and segments dull.  Nia’s win will establish her as another contender; obviously this is leading to the rumored four-way match at Wrestlemania.  If Bayley had won at ‘Mania, fairly, it might have meant something.  Now, the audience has a “cheater” champion who just got pinned clean.  On top of this, there are four women and only four women in this division.  The RAW women’s booking is a disaster right now.

Braun Strowman tells Foley backstage he wants a contract signing so Roman doesn’t “tuck his tail and run.”  Foley explains he doesn’t think that will happen, but if that’s what Braun wants, then he’ll get it.  “If it doesn’t go your way, don’t blame me,” Foley ends.

Outcome: Yippee! A contract signing.  So Foley’s line foreshadows Roman getting the upper hand on Braun.  We haven’t seen Reigns, so it’s unclear how Green Bay will respond to him.  This could end in another massive boo-fest for their face.

The Club comes out followed by Enzo and Cass.  Who knows why because the announcers won’t tell anyone.  Apparently, it’s Big Cass versus Gallows.  This is a mediocre big man match.  Anderson tries to interfere, but he’s stopped.  This leads to Cass winning the match via pinfall.

Next up is Sheamus against Titus O’ Neil.  Why is this match happening?  Well, you have to follow WWE’s Facebook page.  We see a vignette where Sheamus and Titus are eating at the same table, and Titus is telling him that once Joe destroys Cesaro, he’ll need another tag team partner. “I say look no further than your fellow Irishman, Titus O’Neil.  Think about it we got a name and everything – Irish Connection.  We can make WWE green again.”  Sheamus attempts to walk away, but Titus gets angry at this.  Sheamus shoves him into a catering table.  That’s the build for this match, a match Sheamus wins in about two minutes with a Brogue Kick.

Outcome: None, but this has to be continued punishment of Titus for the McMahon incident last year, right?

After the commercial is Seth Rollins in a sit-down interview inside the ring with Corey Graves.  How’s the leg?  Rollins says the MCL tear was a little more severe than first diagnosed.  “Where’s your head at?”  “If I’m being honest, Corey, it sucks, dude…I’m thinking in the hospital bed, maybe I deserve this.”  He talks about how winning the title two years ago at Wrestlemania was the greatest night of his life, but he wonders if he “bought in” to The Authority too much.  “Rebuild, Redesign, Reclaim” was about him being “something different, something better,” but he lost sight of that, and he feels like this is happening because of that attitude.  Corey wants to know if he’s going to be at Wrestlemania?  “Right now, it’s not looking great. It doesn’t look like the doctors are gonna clear me in time for Wrestlemania.”

HHH’s music plays. Behold, the King, the King of Kings.  HHH comes out on the ramp, smiling.  Joe is at ringside as well now.  HHH says Seth’s answer about Wrestlemania was “wishy-washy.”  HHH says, “You will not be at Wrestlemania.”  HHH says Seth knew what he was getting into when he joined The Authority.  What did Seth think?  “They’d shake hands and go their merry ways?”  “I used you up and spit you out.  Man up, and get over it.” HHH says he has a decision to make, the most “pivotal of his career…don’t call me out at Wrestlemania.”  If he does, it’ll be “the last thing he does in a WWE ring.”  Rollins says he has nothing left to lose.  “I will be at Wrestlemania.  And if it’s the last thing I ever do, then I swear to you, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.”  He’s getting some cheers by the end here.

 

Rollins interview and HHH promo

Outcome: Rollins must be legit okay at least.  Hopefully, they can end this HHH/Rollins feud there a year too late.  The crowd acted like jerks throughout this segment: CM Punk chants, boring chants, “No!” chants when Seth was asked about returning at Wrestlemania.  This is indicative of a lot of crowds anymore, trying to get themselves over, but partially this is the poor booking of Seth, which thankfully was acknowledged in this interview.  This is the Seth that should have returned in this interview.  The humbled man who feels his injury was the result of his bad behavior.  Instead, he asked like a heel that was supposed to get cheered, and now it might be too late.

The Big Show versus The Shining Stars wasn’t a joke.  The Big Show wins with the Knockout Punch in a few minutes.  No clue what this was about.

Neville approaches Tony Nese backstage.  Apparently, they will wrestle TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher tonight.  Neville explains that the purpose of this match is to injure Gallagher before Fastlane.  Tony Nese doesn’t care about that plan; he’s going to do what is best for “The Premiere Athlete.”

The cruiserweight tag match begins, which goes under the stipulated six minutes.  Gallagher picks up the win for his team by forcing Nese to tap out.

Outcome: Gallagher looks strong going into his match with Neville.  That’s about it.

Beth Phoenix is announced as going into the Hall of Fame.

Sasha and Bayley are licking their wounds backstage.  Stephanie approaches them and tells Sasha that she will wrestle Nia Jax at Fastlane. She then tells Bayley she might need to start worrying about Nia.

Cesaro comes to the ring to face Samoa Joe.  They have a decent seven minute match, which Joe wins with an Uranage.

After, Joe is interfered on the ramp.  He says he’ll defeat anyone, it doesn’t matter who they are – Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins.  Zayn’s music hits, and Sami attacks Joe.  Joe gets the upper hand, and officials pull them apart.  Sami breaks free and dives off the stage onto Joe.  Officials pull them apart again.

After the commercial break, it is announced that Zayn will face Joe at Fastlane.

Foley is in the ring for the contract signing.  Braun tells Foley to leave or else.  Foley says he might not have long left as GM, but Braun “will respect him.”  Braun retorts that he would have respected him at one point when “he was competition,” but “now, when I say leave, I say it with the respect that a broken-down suburban dad deserves.”

Foley loses it.  He’s mad as hell and he’s not taken it anymore.  He tells Braun that he will respect him as a WWE legend “or else.”  A laughing Strowman looks like he’s going to attack Foley when Reigns’s music hits.  He walks down to the ring, and the brawl starts.  Roman gets tossed around. Superman punch, then tossed around, Superman punch, then a spear through the barricade.  Roman then holds his stomach, gets in the ring, and starts signs the contract.  Before he can finish, Braun stands from the barricade spear, yelling, “Is that all you got?”  Another Superman punch. He goes for the Spear, but Strowman catches him and tosses him into the turnbuckle face-first with such force that the top rope snapped.  Braun stands tall and then walks away.   Roman gets up on his knees and signs the contract.  He is on his knees holding his ribs when the show ends.

Braun and Reigns contract signing

Outcome: This was a good end segment to hype the match.  They used Foley standing up to Braun to try to get a face pop for Roman.  As much as many keep hoping, Vince will simply never give up this idea that Reigns is the hero.  The match should be hard-hitting on Sunday, and the outcome will be interesting as it will say a lot about the future of the main event division on RAW. 

Overall, the show was as dull as a typical three-hour RAW.  The highlights of the night were the Rollins interview, Charlotte’s promo, and the end segment.  There is a lot of wheel spinning right now, which should go away after the company gets past Fastlane this coming weekend.

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