Triple H opened the show, calling it Monday Night Raw instead of Friday Night Smackdown because it has been a weird week.He then brags about the one million subscribers for the WWE Network. He makes a bunch of ball jokes like he's still part of DX regarding the Super Bowl. He puts over the WWE Title match at the Royal Rumble, because mention of the Rumble match itself gets a negative reaction. Surprisingly he does address how controversial the Rumble match was. He says that he will make a major announcement on Monday night that will shake the WWE to its core. I wonder what that will be. Roman Reigns interrupts but it only leads to Roman vs. Big Show. This was your standard match between the two and, based on the fact that I'm supposed to buy Roman as a guy who can take down Brock Lesnar, he needs to beat Show. That's exactly what happened but the crowd gave him a VERY mixed reaction. He tried some new things, like a head scissors but it looked odd. Still though, their best match together so far. Everyone is left to ponder what Triple H's big announcement on Raw will be. We are told that Vince McMahon is backstage to give us breaking news. This breaking news is that the WWE Network is going to be free for February to new subscribers. Two things are wrong with this. On one hand, it was actually announced during a commercial in between the Reigns/Show match. Second, they need to do something for the existing customers that have paid $9.99 a month for a year now.
Next, we are joined by Seth Rollins and J&J Security. He grabs about how he once again proved that he's the future when he came so close to winning the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. He even brags about breaking Brock Lesnar's ribs, which is not something anyone else can say. He calls anyone out and his challenge is answered by the Ryback. However, he is beaten down by all three men. Erick Rowan makes the save to no pop but the faces don't get the upper hand until Dolph Ziggler joins in. They chase off the heels, which makes me wonder why we didn't get a six man tag. Teddy Long would have done it. What has happened to you Smackdown? Maybe at FastLane. Kane cuts a creepy promo backstage in front of a casket, but it's weird because he's Corporate Kane and not the Demon. The Usos come out for a singles match and I instantly worried it would be against the Miz. Instead, it was against Tyson Kidd. Maybe we're getting Kidd and Cesaro vs. the Usos at FastLane, which could steal the show. Kidd wins a solid three minute match and I'm liking the sound of this. Give them fifteen minutes and hopefully they go all out.
If you missed it, on the Royal Rumble Fallout Show, John Cena's interview was interrupted by Rusev. Here, Rusev was upset that he won't face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and is booked against Cena at FastLane. He doesn't like that Cena has no titles and isn't a challenge. This brings out Cena, who does his typical stuff about the fans not always agreeing with him. He comes off as kind of a dick when he mentions that he's the top guy and that Rusev is undefeated but he hasn't faced a 15 time World Champion. He says he was winning titles before Rusev had pubes, and Lana had boobs. How old is John Cena? He challenges Rusev now, but nothing goes down. They've interestingly made note of Cena's age a few times tonight. Cena continues to make "ho" jokes at both Rusev and Lana. We are then informed that at FastLane, Nikki Bella will defend the Divas Championship against Paige. Paige is interviewed backstage but the Bellas interrupt and are bitches to her. Paige nails Brie, but the numbers game is too much. I swear I say something like this each week but Brie comes off looking so stupid in this whole Bella Twins angle. Oh well, I don't expect Paige to win but I would like it.
Goldust and Stardust take on the Ascension next. I thought that the Dust Brothers were heels. Regardless, I like this move for the Ascension. Having them work with the actual main roster tag teams was wise, but it should have been Los Matadores. I don't want a million rematches between them, but they should start at the bottom of the tag team division and that's Los Matadores. So yea, the Ascension won in four or so minutes. We go to Kane staring at the casket for maybe the fifth time tonight. Does he take bathroom breaks? After Smackdown, SyFy presents Wizard Wars, which is a show about magicians so a magician was backstage doing tricks. Miz got involved, was douchey and got egg on his face. Literally. Things move again, this time to a Bray Wyatt promo. He talks about fearing nothing living or dead, instantly making me think this is leading towards a WrestleMania match against the Undertaker. The Casket Match is set to begin and it looks like it's going to get a TON of time. They work through two or three commercial breaks. Look, I don't think Kane, or Big Show, should be working main events at this point in their careers, but I give Kane credit for being in solid shape at 47. Jerry Lawler kept selling ending up in the Casket as real death, which was irritating at times. The match itself was good, as Bryan is able to get the best out of Kane and he wins in about 24 minutes. Too long and if it went a bit shorter, you could have added some Dean Ambrose to this show or something.
Overall, for being a live Smackdown, this disappointed. I watched live instead of on Hulu the following morning but not much of note really happened. The Cena/Rusev promo was alright, the main event was solid but overly long and we did get some solid build to FastLane but it seemed to be missing something. Maybe it was Dean Ambrose. Seriously though, despite being a letdown, it wasn't a bad show. 6/10.