Raw is…you’re drunk, go home


I don’t know what the hell this look is that Taker is going for.

The show starts with a 4 minute intro for Taker.  To be expected.


Taker hasn’t been good in a promo for quite some time, this is no different.  But in a change of pace, Undertaker actually made a point to threaten Vince.   That is rare for anyone who isn’t Stone Cold Steve Austin, so this has a good feel going into Mania.  OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  Here Comes the Money!

No shit, I am so excited to be at the Undertaker’s potential last WM match, but I’ve been praying for the return of Shane for so long now.  I won’t lie.  There is a man in the ring in Brooklyn that has carried this company for 30 years.  Yet Shane gets the pop. It’s a little offputting.  I flew to LA to see the Hell in a Cell with Lesnar, I love the Undertaker.  He is the effigy of my childhood.  I sent an action figure to my nephew for Christmas because he didn’t know who Taker was.

In any event, Shane was much better tonight than he has been recently.  Taker is sorta old, and slow, and his promos, even though he only talks every 6 months seem repetitive.  Shane is in the ring with Taker, bringing up the Lesnar loss, to be expected.  The Crowd just launched into a Suplex City chant.  That’s again, super disappointing.  Taker should retire, I get that, but there is zero appreciation for a man who has stayed loyal for years.

Now Shane is throwing the weird shitty T-Rex punches, because he trains Muay Thai, why would he be good at….oh wait, there were training videos that showed he’s kind of a bad ass….I have no idea what the hell they are doing.  OH NO…….OH NO….Shane hit Taker with the monitor.  Shane is going to do it isn’t he?????  ELBOW!!!!!  ELBOW!!!!!  HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shane may have just deteriorated his own spine.  He’s not moving well, but holy shit.  That just happened.  Wow.  Best Raw Opening in almost a year.


And we’re back.  If you came here expecting legitimate (read sober) recaps, you’re in the wrong place.

If we’re being honest, we’re not back, I’ve just been drinking and hoping like hell they give some of the guys in the IC match a little attention.  I’m so excited that Zack Ryder is in this match #WooWooWooYouKnowItICChamp.


Ok, now we’re actually back from like 12 minutes of stupid USA show promos, Jesus, who watches this crap.

Anywhooooooo…..wait what??? My in commercial prayers were answered?  Zack Ryder is already in the ring to meet Y2SadDadJericho in a match.  I may also be a precog.

Can we take a moment and talk about how beautiful that beard is?  Wow.  #PutonashirtJericho.

Styles on the outside, so more of the same.  Zack gets the win, but it still feels like nothing because it comes on the heels of the Y2Jackass taunt.  Ryder is such a good performer.  Please let him win on Sunday.  Please?  I don’t care who wins in the Styles/Jericho tilt for the 937th time, but damn, please let this IC match be as damn good as I think it will be.


Oh, we get Styles V Jericho at WM32.  Please watch THEDARKMATCH on Periscope all weekend for drunken (read Matt in Luchador Masks) posts about our time on Wrestlemania Weekend.


I won’t even pretend this post is brought to you by good stuff……I blended a bunch of Strawberitas into ice because they were in my fridge…..so this is where we’re at.


We have women’s action, so rest assured this will be the best part of RAW tonight.  Sasha at ringside doing commentary, Becky Vs Sasha in the ring, how could this not be awesome?

And we are back live on Monday Night Raw…Nothing changed.  It’ll go back and forth.  Can we take a moment and appreciate the fact the Divas (Women) are in matches long enough that they go to commercial?  This is seriously a new day in WWE.  Please let HHH take over so they can continue to grow/it doesn’t have to be a damn Divas division anymore.


They’re both good, they really are.  Charlotte was terrible for months, she never should have won the match against Bella but she got hurt.  But she’s really grown leaps and bounds in the last few months.  And these other characters have really given diversity and depth to the division.  It’s been great.

Charlotte wins with the distraction from Ric, the Nature Boy, WOOOOOOOOOO.


I think Charlotte needs Ric at ringside, Sasha is going to have Snoop sing her to the ring, and Becky is going to win the match.  There’s my prediction.  I’m going to do a prediction post tomorrow, it’s going to cover both WM and NXT TakeOver Dallas.  Its also going to have my dream scenarios.


Vince is in the backstage area….which means this promo was recorded like 28 days ago.  Shane taunts Vince.  Same shirt to make sure it looks like its the same.  This promo is better than anything that Shane has done since his return, so worth watching.  If you’re watching on Hulu it will likely be edited out.  I also hope you don’t have to see these Domino’s and Schick Extreme 3 commercials either, since you’re clearly too cheap to pay for the non-commercial version.


A really damn dark commercial about the NARF made me uncomfortable.  I’m sure you can find it online.


Don’t show us WM Moments where Shawn Michaels in tears had to end Flair.  It hurts every time.  That’s not a WM moment, that is a private moment Shawn shared with his mentor and hero.


Now we have again Kane and Big Show Vs any two members of the “Oh my god why are the social outcasts seriously still a thing” Social Outcasts.  I won’t recap it, does anyone give half a shit?


OH SHIT SANDOW IS IN THE ANDRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mark Henry should and will win.  It’s the end of his career.  He’s got to be hanging it up, it’s his time.


Is Wrestlemania brought to you by Taco Bell?  Awful lot of commercials for it.


This Jungle Book movie is going to be awesome.


I digress.  HOLY SHIT IT HAS ONLY BEEN AN HOUR.  Now, entering into hour number 2, The King of Kings.

We will just hope he does the talking and not SM.  She gets booed, yet he gets raving applause.  I’m going to attach his Instagram photo tomorrow, but he does not lose that belt at Mania.  He’s in the best shape of anyone on the roster not named Cesaro or Rollins.  At 46, I’ll go full blown Michael Cole and get super uncomfortable for a minute just enough to say that he is a monster, he is a beast, he is best for business both on the executive side and in the ring.  When in the hell has this company ever had anything like this?  Triple H is trying to get over as a heel and he’s getting Roman booed at every mention of his name.  Brooklyn doesn’t play that shit.

They were there for Bayley/Sasha.  They won’t play this weak “get Roman over” shit.

These people come out to see the Nets.  They clearly don’t know winners, but at least they haven’t latched on to Roman Reigns.

But here we are…10 minute later…more of the same that we don’t like.  We don’t like Roman, we love H.  Don’t come out and play the authority card, it won’t matter.  And especially don’t do it for 11 minutes.  Jesus.  But wait for it, she has the mic. so…….oh yes, 90 seconds later, here comes Roman Reigns….

I typed that last line in its entirety almost two minutes before it actually happened.  There’s some predictability.

Imagine how it went, you’re absolutely right, wow.  Good for you.


This has been an action packed Raw, even if it was predictable, the Shane O Mac elbow through the table was a pleasant surprise considering they aren’t recording any more live shows between now and Friday’s NXT TakeOver Dallas.


It’s a New Day, yes it is.  But they need to figure out what that means.  New Day worked so well for so long as the Heel team.  But considering the fact that everyone fucking hates the League of Nations, they have had to sort of toe the line.  It doesn’t work with the universe.  You’ve got to eventually give us clearly defined good and bad guys, otherwise we’re lost in the confusion.  Is there even a way to make the New Day come across as Faces?  I don’t care how much merch they sell, can you legitimately make them faces?


Well wouldn’t you know it, singles match between someone from LoN and someone from ND.  I don’t know what’s going on.

And the finish, for those that care:  Roll up and Kofi beats Alberto Del Rio.  Nothing is any different.


WWE announced the second annual Warrior Award.  Joan Lunden is the 2nd annual recipient of this amazing award.  As a son of a mom who’s fought the battle, and a grandson to a grandmother who didn’t beat the demon back, I tip my hat.  You are a trooper, never give up and keep pushing forward.  Also of note, the widow of the Ultimate Warrior will induct her into the WWE Hall of Fame.


Triple H works with the Dudleys to attack Roman in the backstage area.

H even got a pop from the crowd while working along side a heel team, while Roman got booed more.


Now it’s Kalisto V one of the Ascenscion. I don’t care which one, it won’t ever matter, it was a 60 second match, Kalisto hit Salida Del Sol, match over. That was quick.  Goldberg is out, to be a douche, like you’d expect.  Sorry, that’s Ryback.  Nothing happens.  Again, like you’d imagine.


I’m almost positive Charlie Cox is the voice of the Just for Men commercials.


Ladies and Gentleman, My name is Paul Heyman.  And WHY IN THE HELL DO I KEEP TALKING?  Lesnar is primed to stomp the shit out of anything in the building.

Imagine the other 8 minutes that happened before you get Dean Amrbose entrance….He’s out here pulling all the props from under the ring, tossing them in a giant DA red ryder wagon (the Dean Ambrose logo.  It is silly, but I liked the wagon).  This may have been the best promo Ambrose has ever cut without speaking a word.


9-ish diva tease.  But at least it is Emma vs Paige.  Emma is great.  Now if they really want to make this effective, bring up Carmella for this, then let Enzo and Cass come up by proxy.  But no, as expected, it’s all red everything.  Nobody likes her, so what the hell ever.


A Golden Truth Promo…I won’t bored you with the details, both will be competing in the Andre.


Now we get a damn great match…6 of the 7 from the WM IC Title Ladder match.  Zayn,Ziggler,Cara vs KO, Miz, Stardust.  This opens with what could play out as a fantastic feud.  Miz and Zayn.  Also, Zayn and Stardust.  Let me take a moment:

Anyone who thinks that the WM card is garbage, there is so much talent in this IC Title Ladder Match.  It’s not perfect, because they tend to do this and cram a bunch of talented ass people into one match, but this is unreal and there is such a wealth of people here who not only could, but deserve to win this match that it will be a great showing at the Show of Shows.

Also, I am making a point to meet Ziggler at Fiesta Mart.

There’s so much in this match, seriously, how can you be even remotely upset that this is happening.

KO is being his typical heel self, even ostracizing his team.   I don’t know why they do these matches especially on go home shows.  You know the team isn’t going to work like a team, especially if the biggest heel is in the mix.

Ok, after another commercial break, because holy shit, we packed so much in the first hour and a half why didn’t you expect FX Network levels of commercial breaks?  Anyway…the happy team is powering, Famouser to the Miz, like he needs your help as the Star of Santa’s Little Helper, but you have to know what is coming, hot tag from Ziggy.  Tags galore as it goes back and forth.  Where is Zack Ryder as everyone is hitting their finishers?

I don’t know who won this match, I don’t actually care.  Title wasn’t going to change, we’re all waiting on Sunday.  Also, sign up for WWE network, please don’t assume you’re going to be satisfied by your tuning into an hour of the preshow on USA.  I mean seriously, you’ll get the Usos V the Dudleys?  If this sounds appealing to you, please find another blog/podcast.


Behold the King of Kings.  The most physically astounding specimen in the company in spite of being 46 damn years old.  He’s been my favorite for two decades.  I can’t express how happy I am that he’s here.  They even think that letting her talk is going to change how we feel about him.  He’s the King, you’re just a pompous ass with an obnoxious voice.  Ever seen Singin’ in the Rain?  Yeah, you’re that chick.

But if the crowd was going to work it, a “Chyna” chant was a good one.  Bravo Brooklyn.  You brought the A game tonight.

Now H and Roman are battling outside the ring.  Back and forth, like a go home show should be.  League of Nations break up the battle, now we’ve got half the roster on one side or the other.  New Day appears to be playing peacemakers, which is odd…I don’t know.  Roman did launch over the top rope and take out like 15 dudes.  That was an oddly athletic move.  Maybe he really will bring an A game on Sunday night and not give us his typically stiff in ring performance.  There’s a line in the sand as the show closes, which was probably to be expected, but wouldn’t you assume it would have ended this way better if Shane were on one side?  Wouldn’t that make more sense?  I don’t know.  What do you think?

It wasn’t a bad show.  I’d probably go so far as to give it a 4 out of 5 on most nights, but not the go home show for Mania.  This was the last shot to sell some tickets to people on the fence.  I’ll leave it at that.



They did film the match portions of Smackdown last night in NY instead of having the crew work another show/risk getting injured before the big show.  Expect Smackdown to be relatively nothing more than Wrestlemania Preshow Preshow, loads of prepackaged promos (which yes, means the Shane training montage for the 100th time and a reminder that a pair of MMA gloves are Taker’s legacy….oh you thought his legacy was winning at WM 30 times?  Idiot.), a ticket plugging bonanza and a merciless effort to get people to pay entirely too much for Axxess, but you’ll get the following:

Dean Ambrose defeats Erick Rowan who came out and performed without the rest of his family by his side.  (Side note, the 3 non-injured members of the Family were at the NYSE this morning.  That’s just a strange ass Wrestlemania promo.)


Also, the same Social Outcasts promo about them being the winner of the Andre, like there’s a chance in hell that happens, and then for some reason they got a match with AJ Styles (with Slater doing the actual match and the rest of the cheerleaders dancing around the ring).  Phenomenal Forearm (why?) and AJ gets the expected win here.

D-Von defeats Jay Uso, because Bubba Ray was undoubtedly somewhere harassing Roman Reigns.

That’s your Smackdown.  Plan on Watching?  If we’re lucky, it’ll be mostly Booker and Mauro at a table together talking.  I’d watch that show all day long.  You can even put Corey Graves and Renee at the table, as long as Mauro is there.

Card predictions later today.