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WWE RAW live results: Roman Reigns and HHH, Shane McMahon and Undertaker


The Big News: Vince McMahon announced that if the Undertaker loses to Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, then the Undertaker will never wrestle at WrestleMania again. Kevin Owens became the latest wrestler to get scolded by Stephanie McMahon, who ordered him to defend the Intercontiental Championship in a ladder match against Sami Zayn, the Miz, Sin Cara, Stardust, Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler. Building up Shane McMahon was the backbone of the show through a series of vignettes, and no matter how much Vince McMahon has lost his creative touch, this company will always have great videos as extra spice in their stew. But they served a cold dish, overall, tonight. 

Show Recap: 

The show was dedicated to the memory of Mary Katherine Stewart, who was only 21 years old. 

Stephanie McMahon announced HHH wasn't going to be there tonight, and fans had 60 second to get to the box office for refunds. She claimed her husband was missing the show because of front office concerns, not because of Roman Reigns attack last week. She said Reigns proved why he would never be WWE World Heavyweight Champion, because he lacks intellect. Reigns came out to mostly boos, which was not the reaction he got when he defeated Sheamus for the WWE title in December. He's no longer walking through the crowd. 

Stephanie started to dress down Reigns until he put his hand over the microphone. Fans booed him as he started to talking, and said HHH didn't come to Philadelphia because he knew he would whip his ass all over Broad Street. Reigns said he would walk into Texas and take his championship back, and there was nothing Stephanie or her daddy's money could do about it. Stephanie started to slap him, but he caught her hand and said "Now, I'm the Authority." It was the right idea to put Reigns in there with Stephanie because he's the only person she sells for, but the fans just aren't willing to accept him as a headliner. Short segment for an opener, going only seven minutes. 

Kevin Owens (C) defeated A.J. Styles in a nontitle match (19:19)

They just can't help themselves. A.J. Styles had Kevin Owens in the Calf Crasher, but Chris Jericho came out for the weekly distraction into a schoolboy cradle finish. Of course, it was a great match with Styles getting near falls following a Fireman's Carry Neckbreaker and a Rack Bomb. During a commercial, Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Owens grabbed the ropes and Styles crashed to the floor. Owens pulled out a frog splash for a great near fall, and later showed off the F-Cinq. The crowd was into it, but the finish took it down a level. Styles chased Jericho to the back.

Afterwards, Owens laughed about winning over Styles and defending his title at "KO-Mania." Dolph Ziggler came out to challenge him, and mentioned "KOMania and Botchamania." Ziggler, who just got crushed last week, as the top challenger spoke volumes about the depth of the midcard. Then the Miz came out and laughed over how Ziggler thought he could get a title shot after HHH slaughtered him last week. Ziggler brought up superkicking Miz on SmackDown. Sami Zayn came out and said he had waited for months to get a piece of Owens and wanted him at WrestleMania. Owens said he would talk with the Authority about arranging a three-way match among those three challengers, and the winner would get the shot at WrestleMania.   

Dean Ambrose was taped at the Philadium bar doing a promo on Brock Lesnar when suddenly, Terry Funk popped up. Funk looked like he had lost 40 pounds since his last television appearance. Funk did a variation of his classic promos, including this one from Puerto Rico that's the White Album or Dark Side of the Moon of wrestling interviews. He told Ambrose that if he had a son, he would be just like Ambrose. Funk gave Ambrose a chainsaw which he could use against Lesnar, and Ambrose started sawing a table to the horror of various extras. 

Owens approached Stephanie and asked for a triple threat match tonight that he could book. Stephanie agreed. The trick was Owens didn't say who would be in the match, with Stephanie assuming it would be Miz vs. Zayn vs. Ziggler. 

They did a good feature on Shane McMahon and the Undertaker featuring Mick Foley, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Edge, John Cena, Booker T, Michael Hayes and Jerry Lawler. Foley said Shane's return was among the top three reactions he's ever heard in the business. Cena mentioned he never thought he'd see Shane in the WWE again. The piece featured headlines from when Shane left the company in 2010 and what brought him back. 

Alberto Del Rio, Rusev and Sheamus did promos on the New Day laughing about how they beat them up last week. New Day came out with Booty O's cereal. Xavier Woods held up placards which spelled out "You are trash." Kofi Kingston said Rusev had stinky feet. Kingston wondered what happened to Del Rio, he used to come out in a car with his own ring announcer, but now he's stuck in the League of Nations. They mentioned Sheamus' parents must have known how he would turn out to be because they put the word "Shame" in his first name. Woods mentioned the tag line "Booty-O's: They make sure you aren't Booty." 

Big E. defeated Rusev (11:06) 

Big E. won after the Big Ending. Lots of activity outside the ring, including King Barrett and Sheamus throwing Woods and Kingston into the barricade, which they sold for several minutes. Big E. hit several Belly-to-Bootie suplexes. Rusev teased the Accolade, but Big E. escaped with an Electric Chair, which was impressive considering Rusev's size. Match was good but was a few minutes too long. 

Vince McMahon will make an announcement concerning Shane-Undertaker later tonight. 

The Wyatt Family did a promo about a match tonight between Ambrose and Braun Strowman, who said the God of War watches over him tonight and he would offer Ambrose for sacrifice. 

Aliciia Fox and Naomi did a commercial for Snickers where some male was pretending to be a drama queen. So they gave him a "Drama Rama" bar, the guy took a bit out of it, and turned into Natalya. 

The Big Show came out for a promo for the 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Byron Saxton vowed winning the battle royal could change someone's life. So far, the winner's of the battle royal have been Cesaro and the Big Show. Exactly how have their lives changed for the better? Show said he once claimed to be the greatest giant of all time, but the true greatest giant was Andre, because he was the first giant and the greatest giant. That's why it meant so much for him to win the battle royal last year and wants to win it again. Social Outcasts came out. Heath SLater said Show's mark on the industry would soon be the Social Outcasts' largest victim. Bo Dallas claimed they were a Cinderella story. Curtis Axel corrected him and said they were like Voltron. Adam Rose said Show was in serious trouble. Show said the only trouble he would have would be figuring out which one of them to knock out first. Slater got choked, but Axel hit Show with a Shining Wizard. They started to put the boots to him, but Kane came out, threw Dallas and Slater over the top rope, as well as Rose. Dallas tried to shake Kane's hand with his left hand, but he was thrown out. Show hugged Kane, who didn't return the favor. Show posed on the second rope, but Kane grabbed Show and choke slammed him off the second rope. Guess that's what Show gets for saying he wasn't properly booked over the years on Austin's podcast. 

Chris Jericho defeated Fandango (2:08)

Nice to see Fandango back from the witness relocation program. He missed the Last Dance and Jericho started to put on the Walls of Jericho, but Styles came out and started chanting "Y2 Jackass." Jericho must not be as easily distracted as Styles was, because Jericho kicked out of Fandango's small package. Jericho got the pin with a codebreaker. 

Jericho challenged Styles to get in the ring. When Styles ran in, Jericho ran out. Styles then did a promo saying he's wrestled all over the world, but not at WrestleMania. He challenged Jericho to a match at WrestleMania, which Jericho didn't answer. 

Another Shane promo video, and this was very good. Of all people, they had Renzo Gracie cutting an interview about how Shane brings energy to his jujitsu workout daily. Renzo is as good a personality as you'll find from the MMA world to get someone over on an interview, especially since he doesn't have a script. Shawn Michaels, Edge, Road Dogg, Austin, and Booker built Shane up as someone tougher than shoe leather, but most of them picked Undertaker to win. A good hype piece, and it left the fans with a better flavor about Shane than if Shane had appeared in front of the live crowd and received a lukewarm response, which is always a danger in Philadelphia. 

Owens handled ring announcing for the triple threat match for the Intercontiental championship. Instead of Miz vs. Zayn vs. Ziggler, Owens announced Stardust, Sin Cara and Zack Ryder. 

Stardust vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara ended in no contest (3:41) 

The joke here was Owens booked three jobbers for a fight for his championship. What's scary is, after last week, Ziggler and Miz have as much credibility as the three who started this match. Zayn, Miz and Ziggler came out to confront Owens, who was on commentary. It led to Owens jumping Ryder for the DQ. Everybody started fighting with Owens, who walked away. 

This led to our weekly segment known as "Stephanie gets to castrate talent." Stephanie scolded Owens for misleading her about the triple-threat match, then ordered him to face Zayn, Sin Cara, Ryder, Stardust, Ziggler, the Miz and Stardust at WrestleMania in a ladder match for the I-C title. 

Stephanie walked out of the building, where a black SUV was waiting for her. HHH came out from the backseat and kissed her. As the garage roof raised, Reigns was behind it. I guess HHH and Stephanie were making out in the backseat because the SUV didn't move. Reigns pulled HHH out of the back and brawled with HHH, including ramming him into a set of bars. HHH got one punch in and the SUV sped off. 

Charlotte (C) defeated Natalya (4:47)

Charlotte won with Natural Selection. Natalya got the Sharpshooter on, but Charlotte made the ropes. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were on commentary doing promos on each other that succeeded in making me less encouraged to watch the match. It's sad how far behind the WWE is from UFC in terms of using interviews to build up fights. It's like the gap between the New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns. 

Bubba Ray Dudley defeated R-Truth (2:04)

The gimmick was R-Truth was despondent about Goldust turning down his requests to be his tag team partner. Bubba Ray Dudley won with a big boot. Devon Dudley joined in to beat up Truth. So after weeks of building up the Goldust-Truth tag team, Goldust runs down for the save. And Michael Cole couldn't have been more monotone in his delivery. Why the hell do you start the angle if you aren't going to sell it big on the payoff? On top of that, Goldust ran in with a chair, but got laid out with a reverse 3-D. Then the Usos ran in and gave Bubba a double superkick, ditto for Devon. The Usos pulled out a table and teased giving Devon a splash through the table, but Bubba pulled his partner to safety. 

Vince came out and he just has worn out his welcome. Total silence on his entrance. After the post-WrestleMania Raw in 2 weeks, he needs about nine months off to get fresh again. He reviewed the Shane-Undertaker stips, and said if Shane wins, it might mean he will never be on Raw again. Like anyone believes that. Then he put over Shane as a wrestler. He actually said Shane might be the most forminable opponent the Undertaker has ever faced at WrestleMania. You could a loud groan in the audience after that one. The big news is if Undertaker doesn't beat Shane at WrestleMania, then the Undertaker will never wrestle at WrestleMania again. 

Braun Strowman defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ (5:12)

Paul Heyman was on commentary doing his best to sell Ambrose's match with Brock Lesnar. Crowd was so dead, it was amazing this was only two weeks before WrestleMania and one of the top babyfaces was in the ring. It got boring chants. All Strowman could do was nerve holds. Finally Ambrose used a chair on Strowman for a DQ for no real reason. Ambrose went after Luke Harper and Erick Rowan with the chair, then hit Dirty Deeds on Strowman onto the chair. Ambrose walked over to Heyman and mouthed off to him while Heyman looked on with concern. 

Final Thoughts:

There is no momentum for WrestleMania at all. The event sells itself purely on its brand name. But there wasn't one regular performer on this show who is over. As long as Raw is 3 hours, appearing on Raw is an obstacle to getting over because you're overexposed. And there's two types of people in this company. Those who have been castrated by HHH and Stephanie, and those who are going to be.  Tonight, Owens joined the former club after being in the latter for eight months.