In a totally unsurprising move, Raw opened up with Stephanie McMahon coming to the ring. She announced that Triple H wasn't in the building due to work and not due to Roman Reigns. This brought out Reigns, giving us a very familiar scene to start Raw. At least they kept it short as Reigns blocked a slap from Stephanie and said that he was the authority now. I didn't know that's all it took to get a position of power in the WWE. Nothing was really accomplished in the segment either and the crowd was 50/50 at best for Reigns. The opening match was much better as AJ Styles took on Kevin Owens. They allowed them to work through two commercial breaks, giving them nearly twenty minutes to do their thing. It could have been up there with New Day/Y2AJ for best Raw match in 2016 but they rehashed the same finish from Smackdown and it took away from it for me. Owens won via Chris Jericho distraction. Owens got on the mic and said that nobody deserved a shot at his title at KOMania. Out came Dolph Ziggler, the Miz and Sami Zayn to stake their claim. There would be a Triple Threat match later on to determine the top contender.
Last week, Mick Foley gave Dean Ambrose his barbed wire bat, "Barbie". This week, Dean was in a Philadelphia bar with Terry fucking Funk. He gave Dean his chainsaw, which Dean used to saw a table in half. This was so much fun. The League of Nations were in the ring next and ran down New Day. New Day came out and responded, ripping LON to shreds by dissing Barrett for having no crown and Del Rio for losing everything cool about himself. Big E then beat Rusev, which was curious. If the New Day keeps beating LON, why should I care about Mania? Also, couldn't Barrett, who is leaving soon, do the job instead? It was right around here that the show took a tumble and fell off of a cliff.
Big Show came out to talk and promote the yearly Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Social Outcasts interrupted and ended up fighting with Show until Kane came out. The two old behemoths cleared the ring and then Kane hit a hideous chokeslam off the top rope on Kane. Moving on, they did a WrestleMania 29 rematch with Chris Jericho and Fandango. AJ Styles showed up to distract Jericho, but looked like an idiot because it backfired and Jericho just beat Fandango. Jericho ran from AJ, who challenged him to a match at the one place he's never wrestled before, WrestleMania. Jericho walked away before responding. It's here that things just got plain stupid. Owens had the Triple Threat contender's match made but not with Zayn, Ziggler and Miz. Instead, it was Sin Cara, Stardust and Zack Ryder. He did it as a joke. The other three showed up and somehow there was a DQ in a Triple Threat match. All six guys beat up Owens, who complained to Stephanie in the back. Stephanie announced a seven man ladder match for Mania. Why? You literally just told us that three of the guys are jokes. Why was there a DQ? Why are Owens and Zayn tossed into a multi-man match that makes no sense when Kalisto and Ryback get the singles match at Mania? What fucking sense does any of this make? Just so unbelievably stupid. I love Stardust but on what planet does he, Ryder and Cara belong here?
Triple H arrived to pick up Stephanie. They go to leave but Roman Reigns is revealed to be behind the gate. Nobody chooses to lock their fucking doors, so Reigns gets in and attacks Hunter. It came off as an unprovoked attack but at least he looked badass. The problem was, again, that the crowd didn't give a shit. In a rematch from Roadblock, Charlotte took on Natalya. It was a lesser version of that match and Charlotte won again. The issue was commentary. I love Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch but there were two problems with them in the booth. One, Becky seems comfortable on the mic but not on commentary. It's always awkward. Two, they were just catty with each other because of WWE's trademark "all women are bitches" attitude. It sucked. Next, they promoted the Rock being at WrestleMania, but we still have no idea what he's doing there. Creative probably doesn't either. Moving on, Bubba Ray Dudley beat R-Truth via distraction/interference, and then the Usos showed up after Goldust failed to make the save. They almost put the Dudleys through the table but the old school team escaped.
All night, they hyped a "special Hell in a Cell announcement" from Mr. McMahon himself. He came out and said that Undertaker is his bitch and if he loses at WrestleMania, it will be his last. It's kind of a dumb, anti-climactic stipulation since if Shane wins, he could just reverse that ruling. Super lame segment. Dean Ambrose came out and passed Vince on his way out, for a dull main event. He took on the incredibly boring Braun Strowman and their match got a "this is boring" chant. It really was. Dean ended up going for the chair and getting himself DQed. It was done to show that he can take out a bigger opponent, as Paul Heyman nervously watched on commentary. However, it was a shit way to close the show. This was a very lackluster Raw. It's like the WWE's road to WrestleMania has been bad for the past few years. Most of the first hour was great but everything else was shit and a vast majority of the show fell very flat. 4/10.