The infamous gong went out and signaled that Raw was starting with the Undertaker. He went out and cut one of his typical basic promos about his yard and Shane McMahon resting in peace. It brought out Shane, who looked much better than when he initially returned. Shane is fighting to win, while Undertaker is fighting not lose according to Shane. Shane showed no fear and got in the ring and in Taker's face, saying that his legacy died two years ago when the streak broke. Cold blooded. They brawled and it led to the outside where Shane leveled Undertaker with monitors. He then climbed up top and put Taker through the table with his leap of faith elbow. It was an awesome moment with a molten hot Brooklyn crowd. They didn't waste a big spot either since you can't do this in the Cell on Sunday. As Shane headed up the ramp, Undertaker sat up and did the throat cut signal. The writing and story for this have been nonsensical but Taker and Shane have made it awesome at times. The opening contest saw Chris Jericho take on Zack Ryder. AJ Styles showed up beforehand to question why Jericho wouldn't accept his challenge for WrestleMania. As Jericho got near a win, Styles did the "Y2Jackass" chant, distracting him and giving Ryder the win. Jericho attacked Ryder instantly and then accepted Styles' challenge. Their feud was good for a while but the last few weeks have just been about distractions. Plus, while I'm excited for Styles' first Mania match, we've seen it three times already. It all just feels really lazy.
It was time to hype the Divas Title match. Sasha Banks beat Charlotte on Smackdown but now, it was Becky's turn to get a crack at Charlotte. I never liked this idea because all three girls should look strong heading into the match, not beating each other. Sasha Banks was on commentary. The match was decent and of course, saw Ric Flair cheat to help his daughter win. Ho hum. As promotion for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, the Social Outcasts faced Kane and Big Show (aka Local Men). It never really got started and turned into a big brawl as all of the jobbers in the company showed up and joined. Kane and Show laid out Mark Henry and the Outcasts to stand tall. If one of them has to win, I hope it's Kane.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out to cut a promo next and it was a mixed bag. Triple H was mostly fine but Stephanie managed to find a way to shit on the entire roster, saying the rest of the Mania card means nothing. With promotion like that, thank god Mania is part of my WWE Network package. Reigns came out and they did the tired brawl segment before HHH left. Yawn. New Day came out and was over in a way that Reigns has only dreamed about. Kofi Kingston beat Alberto Del Rio in a match that was kind of just there. It wasn't bad but I've seen a combination of these teams go at it countless times so why should I care this time around? Post match, Jonathan Coachman returned, promoted Booty-O's and announced that SportsCenter is coming to Mania.
Joan Lunden is getting the Warrior Award, which was completely misrepresented when they discussed it. Whatever. Backstage, the Dudleys goaded Roman Reigns into a fight, only for HHH to attack him. As with the in ring segment, it was a pro-Triple H crowd. Kalisto faced Konnor next. Not a bad move since Konnor is a big guy, like Ryback, that can take a loss and he also knows how to work with Kalisto from their NXT days. Kalisto won, Ryback came out and just did a lot of "Feed Me More" before leaving. Fine idea for a match, lame way to handle the end. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar were out next. Heyman did his usual great build for the match. Dean Ambrose showed up with a wagon of weapons. He went under the ring and found more, putting them in the wagon and leaving. He never made eye contact with Brock. I liked the segment and was glad they didn't brawl since we've been there, done that with a lot of Mania hype.
To follow up a segment involving important people, we went to one that was the opposite. It's harsh but mostly true. Paige took on Emma, though I was extremely happy to see Emma back on Raw. Emma, Summer, Lana and Team BAD are known as Bad and Blonde. Emma won thanks to Lana and the heels had a five on four advantage. Eva Marie showed up to massive boos to become the final member of Team Total Divas. Her partners weren't even happy about it. Considering the Total Divas cast and Nikki Bella's injury as well as Mandy being too new, Eva made the most sense. It just won'y be any good since she remains the worst in the company.
The main event was a six man tag pitting Kevin Owens, Stardust and Miz against Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara. It was a decent match but went far too long and the crowd took a shit on it. I blame the piss poor booking that hasn't given us a reason to care about the match. But hey, why write compelling stories when you can just put a bunch of guys in one match? Zayn pinned Owens to win, wasting the first decision between the two in a match that no one gave a fuck about. The final segment saw the Authority come back out to talk shit. Reigns again interrupted. They brought out the roster and did pull apart brawls. Nobody cared. They only popped for Reigns' big Undertaker like dive outside. Then went back to chanting "you still suck". If it wasn't for the dive, this may have topped last year's Brock/Roman tug of war over the belt.
I found last year's go home to Mania show (outside of the tug of war) to be pretty good. That wasn't the case here. Somehow, this build to Mania managed to be worse than last year's. The opening segment was dope enough to overcome the bad writing. The rest of the show sucked ass, managing to even make a usually loud Brooklyn crowd sit on their hands. Also, giving Reigns & Triple H three segments was a bad move. 4/10.