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Raw Recap – March 6, 2017

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WWE

After the melee that was WWE Fastlane, the time has arrived for the build to WrestleMania. Superstars have started to jockey for position on wrestling’s grandest stage and Raw provided all the fuel to the fire fans needed to see the Mania card start to come into focus.

Chris Jericho to Kick Off the Show

Fans erupted to the sound of Y2J’s music as the Ayatollah of Rockin Rolla made his way to the ring to explain his actions at Fastlane where he cost Kevin Owens the WWE Universal Championship.

It didn’t take long for Jericho to make his intentions known as he called out his former “Best Friend” Kevin Owens and demanded an explanation for Owen’s actions 3 weeks ago. This brought out the now former WWE Universal Champion who too was looking for revenge.

The back and forth banter continued with Jericho wanting to know how Owens could turn on his friend while Owens fired back that Jericho was never his friend. They set a match for WrestleMania where Owens will challenge Jericho for his WWE United States Championship.

This all culminates with Owens rushing into the ring to get some revenge which resulted in Samoa Joe attacking Jericho from behind. Things looked bad for Jericho until Sami Zayn made the save using a steel chair to level the playing field and set up matches for later in the show.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

After the brawl that started the show, we were given a stroll down memory lane with another match between the former friends in what held the promise of another mat classic. Unfortunately, what could have been an amazing match turned into a five minute exhibition leading to a Pop Up Powerbomb victory for KO.

Neville vs. Rich Swann – WWE Cruiserweight Championship

This match was Swann’s rematch after losing the title last month to the King of the Cruiserweights. This match was an instant classic as the two 205 Live competitors exchanged all of the high spots and physicality that is becoming the norm of 205 Live.

The end saw Rich Swann prepare to deliver his patented Phoenix Splash but after a near miss, Neville recovered to lock in the Rings of Saturn submission for the retain. This match was easily the best match that has been presented on Raw in 2017 and one that should get a ton of support for match of the year.

Post Match Interview

Austin Aries is in the ring for an interview with the reigning champion of 205 Live who argues that he has defeated everyone on 205 Live and that there is no real competition for him remaining. As the interview progresses, the fans start an Austin Aries chant which he thanks the crowd for. As Neville goes on about his domination of the division, Aries asks him to clarify his statement that there was no one on the 205 Live roster on his level.

As the crowd chants become deafening, Neville realizes what they are implying and begins showering Aries with insults and spitting in his face. Aries asks for one last question before attacking Neville with the microphone and delivering a forearm to the face sending Neville to the floor.

Goldberg Arrives

Goldberg’s music hit and the New WWE Universal Champion made his way to the ring. He began to cut a promo while nodding his head to the CM Punk chants that echoed throughout the building. Goldberg prepared to deliver his victory speech but was interrupted by Paul Heyman who congratulated Goldberg on his win and also informed the new champ that he did not come along. Cue the music of the Beast Incarnate as Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring.

Heyman continues to deliver his congratulatory speech while Brock was extending a hand culminating with a prediction for WrestleMania that would see Lesnar defeat Goldberg. As Goldberg turned to look at Heyman, Brock grabbed Goldberg and delivered a thunderous F5. As Lesnar and his advocate left the ring, Goldberg tried to reach his championship belt adding even more drama to the scene.

Enzo and Cass vs. Gallows and Anderson – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

This was a rematch from Fastlane with Cesaro and Sheamus at ringside sipping coffee as they watched the teams do battle. This was a typical match seeing Anderson and Gallows landing heavy shots until Enzo made got the hot tag and started laying people out. In the process, he performed a dive to the outside and began celebrating accidentally spinning into Cesaro, spilling his coffee all over he and his partner.

This erupted into a brawl between all three teams with each team knocking opponents out to the floor and ending with Cesaro and Sheamus standing tall. For a team that could barely get along 3 months ago, Cesaro and Sheamus look like they are definitely on the same page now.

Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Davari

This was a glorified squash match as Davari never got any offense going. Tozawa and his battle cry are getting over with the fans and you could hear the support starting to build for Tozawa. After a very quick match that saw Tozawa hit a snap German suplex for the win, Tozawa took the opportunity to grab a microphone and call THE Brian Kendrick to the ring for a fight.

Kendrick appeared at the top of the entrance ramp and informed Tozawa that he would get a response on 205 Live as to whether he would agree to face him. Despite the fantastic build for the Tozawa and Kendrick feud, I can help but notice how poorly used Ariya Davari has been over the last month.

The New Day vs. The Shining Stars

The New Day introduced the city of Chicago to their new Ice Cream Bike before their big match with the Shining Stars. In reality, this was a second consecutive squash match that had little purpose on the show. The Shining Stars were unable to perform any offense and in the end fell victim to The New Day’s Midnight Hour.

Bayley / Foley Segment

Bayley and Mick Foley are in the ring to discuss Bayley’s victory at Fastlane and to determine who she will face at WrestleMania. Bayley expressed her frustrations as she did not want Sasha interfering in her match. Before Foley could get her to name an opponent for WrestleMania, Sasha Banks made her way to the ring to make her case for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship.

This brought out Charlotte and Dana Brook. Charlotte made it known that she wanted another rematch for the title which Mick Foley reminds her that she already lost her mandated rematch. Stephanie McMahon came to the ring to address the situation.

Stephanie acknowledges Charlotte’s right to a rematch but Foley suggests including “The Boss”. Stephanie gets interrupted by a huge CM Punk chant with her responding saying, “The people of Chicago are predictable. They are all losers, just like CM Punk. They all cheer for the wrong people.” Stephanie declares the match at Mania to be Charlotte versus Bayley.

Foley insists on including Banks in a match against Charlotte next week on Raw with the winner going on to WrestleMania. Stephanie changes the plan and makes a match for tonight as Bayley will face Sasha right now and if Sasha wins, she will be added to the title match at WrestleMania.

Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

The writers missed an opportunity with this match as is seemed rushed and told little in the way of a story. This was Raw’s chance to solidify the Women’s Revolution even more with a quality match but ended up being a slow build. There was a sequence of basic wrestling holds to give the perception that Bayley didn’t want to wrestle her friend. She refused to hit some of her typical spots. Bayley was apprehensive, Sasha seemed to take on the heel role, Charlotte interfered on Sasha’s behalf as she forced Bayley to tap out for the win in short order.

Triple H Interview

Triple H was shown via satellite talking about his issues with Seth Rollins desire to appear at WrestleMania. The drama reached a peak when he watched a video of Rollins rehabilitating and made the comment that:

“You gotta take your hat off, Michael Cole, to the WWE. I mean, the world-class care they provide their athletes is second to none. That’s Kevin Wilk. Kevin Wilk! That’s like the best in the world! WWE spares no expense when it comes to the health and welfare of their talent. We just have to hope that somebody like Seth Rollins actually listens to the experts, listens to what they’re telling them and utilizes that advice!”

This was a clear shot at CM Punk in his hometown of Chicago. He again warns Seth Rollins not to call him out at WrestleMania or it will be the last thing he does.

Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho

The Joe vs. Jericho match was short but effective. It built Joe more as the unstoppable force that WWE has projected him to be while keeping Jericho strong heading into Mania. The two exchanged blows early with Joe hitting swantons, Jericho going for the Walls of Jericho and missing a baseball slide to the waiting Samoa Joe on the outside resulting in the Coquina Clutch being locked in and Jericho passing out giving Joe the countout win.

Strowman, Reigns, and the Deadman

Strowman is in the ring calling out Reigns and looking for a fight tonight on Raw. After several moments of waiting, Reign’s music hits for a fraction of a second followed by the bell tolling for the Undertaker. The Dean Man makes his return to Raw and slowly walks to the ring. As he enters the ring, Strowman is face to face for a moment and then chooses to leave.

As he leaves, Roman Reigns appears and when he comes to the ring, he starts to talk to the Undertaker complaining that Strowman didn’t call for the Undertaker and that it is his yard now. As they both take a quick look at the WrestleMania sign, the Undertaker grabs Reigns by the neck and hits the chokeslam to end the show.

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