The show opens with Bayley making her way down to the ring, she talks about being excited for Wrestlemania and how the odds are stacked against her which leads to Charlotte coming down. Charlotte tells Bayley that Sasha’s interference has made Bayley a paper champion and how this was all a ploy to get herself back into the title picture.
Sasha eventually does come down to defend herself and then ultimately Nia Jax. The four women begin to brawl as we head to a break. This was your standard RAW opening segment, although I do appreciate that it focussed on something other than the McMahon family.
Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax
This was a solid enough match that got a fair amount of time. Sasha and Bayley worked very well as a tag team here, if Sasha doesn’t end up turning heel I’d love to see them as a regular team on TV. Bayley pins Charlotte ** ¾
After the match Nia Jax beats down all three women and stands tall with the title, so she isn’t winning then.
After some video packages we head to an interview with Sami Zayn, who talks about wanting to enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale in honour of Mick Foley. Stephanie McMahon appears and tells Sami that before he can enter the match he must beat Kevin Owens in a NoDQ match with his career also on the line.
Austin Aries vs. Noam Dar (w/Alicia Fox)
Neville is on commentary here. This was basically an extended squash to hype Aries’ upcoming title match, and was effective enough. Aries seemed to be working pretty stiff, which is always fun. Aries submits Dar with the Last Chancery ** ½
Seth Rollins comes down to the ring on a crutch to sign the Hold Harmless agreement with Triple H. Hunter explains to Seth that by signing the contract he is giving up all of his rights to sue if Triple H injures him at Wrestlemania because he is the ultimate bad ass and strongest human being alive ARGH!
Triple H keeps talking for a while and then Rollins starts talking about how he liked himself before he met Triple H, and is looking for redemption at Wrestlemania because he’s lost everything he ever had. Hunter attacks Rollins after the contract is signed. Triple H cut a very Triple H promo, while Rollins cut a very good babyface promo that potentially teased a Shield reunion which could be great.
After that we get an “Over the Top Challenge,” which is basically Big Show killing jobbers until Braun Strowman comes out. Braun says he could kick Big Show’s ass right now, but will wait until Wrestlemania. So I guess Strowman is in the battle royale, which is a bit lame but at least adds some interest to that nothing match.
Gallows and Anderson are interviewed backstage where they make fun of Enzo and Cass. Nothing promo really. After that we get a pretty fun training montage with New Day in parody of Rocky.
Sheamus and Cesaro are interviewed backstage before being attacked by Gallows and Anderson with a ladder. Looks like we’ve got our clusterfuck ladder match then.
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
Finally, another actual match! These two had a great title match on PPV a few months ago, and this was an awesome little sprint as well. Neville continues to be phenomenal since his heel turn. Neville submits Gallagher with the Rings of Saturn ***
After the match we get Austin Aries on the titatron for a Special Report with the New Day, Aries asks them if they think he will win at Wrestlemania. New Day says Aries and they all dance to end the segment. I really like this reporter gimmick Aries uses for his promos, it’s something different and interesting.
Roman Reigns comes down to the ring to talk about the spooky Undertaker vignettes that have been going on all night. The crowd boo the hell out of him, to which he reminds them that he won the Rumble and headlined Wrestlemania twice to a crazy amount of heat. Reigns calls out Undertaker, which causes another creepy vignette to play on the big screen. Taker eventually appears in the ring and the two men stare each other down. This was a cool segment, and the crowd was hot for it all the way through.
Enzo and Big Cass cut a promo in the ring before their match with Gallows and Anderson, who get attacked by Sheamus and Cesaro with another ladder. The three teams brawl, with Gallows and Anderson standing tall.
Kevin Owens is interviewed backstage, where he denies ever thinking of Chris Jericho as his hero. He says that he regrets being a Jericho fan because he knows now that they are all morons, and then talks excitedly about getting to end Sami Zayn’s career tonight. Solid promo.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (NoDQ, Battle Royale space vs Career)
These two men always have great matches, and this was no exception. Samoa Joe comes down at one point to help Owens, only to be attacked by Chris Jericho leading to the finish. Sami pins Owens with a roll up ** ¼
Jericho attacks Owens and runs him off after the match.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar make their way down to the ring next. Heyman talks about how he respects Goldberg and calls him a real life superhero and the man, but Brock is no man but a beast. Heyman cuts a pretty damn great promo as usual until Goldberg makes his way down to the ring. He immediately spears Brock and then stands tall to end the show.
This was a pretty bad episode of RAW, there were just so many boring promos and video packages. That is to be expected from the RAW just before Wrestlemania, but that doesn’t make it any better to watch.