A weak card, a waste of an Undertaker appearance and plodding promo made for another lackluster episode of Monday Night RAW. With just 34 days before the show of shows, the card still needs to be filled out and the excitement needs to be built. Thanks to far too much product placement, WWE Network plugs and the mid-card shenanigans, it’s hard to imagine RAW stepping it up enough to make this year’s Wrestlemania “worth it.”
Away from a solid effort from Dean Ambrose and the announcement of the Fabulous Freeboards joining the WWE Hall of Fame, this week’s RAW had no sense of urgency. It never demanded your attention.
#1 Contender Match for Divas Title Shot at Wrestlemania: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks: A fun encounter with plenty of offense, but the finish was virtually stolen out of the Sami Zayn/Samoa Joe match on NXT a few weeks ago. After Banks hit the top-rope Powerbomb variation, both competitors ended up with their shoulders on the mat for the three-count, ending the match in a draw.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz: A quickie that ended with Miz getting a surprise win with a Rollup after an Irish Whip into the turnbuckle.
The Lucha Dragons: Sin Cara and United States Champion Kalisto vs. The League of Nations: Sheamus and Rusev w/Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio: Kalisto and Sin Cara were solid, but the numbers game caught up with them. After Sin Cara took out Barrett on the outside, he walked right into a Brogue Kick, while Rusev nailed Kalisto with the Standing Side Kick for the win. After the match, Del Rio hit the Stomp on Kalisto, a clear message that he wants another shot at the United States Championship.
Ryback vs. Adam Rose w/Heath Slater, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas: Rose was vicious early on, but Ryback got the quick with the Shell-Shocked.
AJ Styles and Chris Jericho vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day: Big E. Langston and Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods: Another solid back and forth that ended with Jericho getting the win with the Walls of Jericho. After the match, Styles demanded that Y2AJ got a WWE Tag Team Title shot.
Jey Uso w/Jimmy Uso vs. Bubba Ray Dudley w/ Devon Dudley: Things got out of hand when Devon threw a table at Jimmy, but Jey got distracted by it and soon enough got hit with the Bubba Bomb.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens vs. The Big Show: Show got the count-out victory after he threw Owens (and his gonads) onto the top rope and the outside.
Brie Bella vs. Naomi w/Tamina Snuka: Thanks to some help from Snuka, Naomi got the win with her new Rings of Saturn-looking submission finisher.
Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Sheamus, Wade Barrett and Rusev: Del Rio was in control throughout the match, working on Ambrose’s arm and hitting a DDT and strikes. Ambrose was able to escape the Stomp, but Del Rio hit the Backstabber and then nailed Ambrose with the Stomp on the Outside. Able to narrowly avoid a count-out, Ambrose fought back with a Bulldog and other signature maneuvers, but Del Rio hit the Running Enzigieri. Ambrose wasn’t done yet though, taking out the LON with the Flying Elbow to the outside. Triple H then hit the ring, allowing the League of Nations to beat on Ambrose and get the match thrown out.
With Ambrose down, Triple H told him he’d never learn and he’d never beat The Authority, but Ambrose tried to fight back before Triple H hit the Pedigree and informed “The Lunatic Fringe” he’d get a title shot he asked for at the start of the show. Ambrose, still on the floor, then mocked Triple H, but “The Game” beat on Ambrose the same way he decimated Roman Reigns last week.