Bayley’s Choice – A Raw Recap for 2/20/17

It’s weird.  Since going to my first Raw since 2009, today was the first time since the show came through that Michele and I opted not to go.  Fitz was convinced that Triple H was going to stop by the Staples Center as punishment but thankfully we were wrong.  Staples did get a “dark” appearance from The Rock, there with Stephen Merchant working on the Paige’s family biopic.  Sounds like one of the weirdest coming of age stories around.

Before we get into the unpleasantries of Raw, let’s first remember a legend and celebrate another.

In Rememberance of George “The Animal” Steele

Ok.  It doesn’t seem like they posted the In Memoriam video so here’s a classic match instead:

And congrats to DDP for going into the WWE Hall of Fame!

Kevin Owens Answers the Question on Everyone’s Minds

Now the (literal) spotlight is on Kevin Owens, starting off Raw.  He’s dressed all nice, in a suit.

Here’s here to explain himself.  He’s come to explain what he thinks about Bill Goldberg.

But lets here him:

After the promo, Sami and Kevin get booked in a match later that evening…because why not?  It was at this point I knew Triple H wouldn’t be making an appearance at Raw.

Sami talked some more shit about Samoa Joe and, surprise, business casual Samoa Joe attacked Sami on his way to ringside.  Kevin made quick work of Zayn for an easy win.

New Day Biding Time

After wasting the last several weeks with Titus and a mildly amusing match with Bo Dallas, The New Day is back to wasting time.  This week, it’s against some more formidable opponents in Rusev and Jinder Mahal.

And yes, the ice cream formula is still on the docket.  Bo Dallas might have ripped it up last week but now they have it on an iPad.  But Lana, being Russian, has hacked The New Day (topical!).  Now there’s an extra layer to this bought with Rusev and Jinder.  The extra layer though, seems to take away from an actually decent match.  We’re more concerned with Woods trying to get the iPad back from Lana than what’s actually going on in the ring.  Woods eventually gets the iPad, rips it up, and The New Day get the pin.

Now that it’s been announced that The New Day is hosting Wrestlemania, a lot more of this makes sense.  They don’t really want to get these guys in a feud when they have no angles planned for them for the show of shows.  I’m sure Woods will eat a finisher from a Legend -ahem- DDP -ahem- but that will be about it.

Roman vs the Club:
Or, The Super Spear

This is really just a repeat of last week.  Roman is upset and wants to face Braun right away.  Refusing to find a partner, he faces The Club again in a handicap match.  Unlike last week, Anderson and Gallows seem to have a better handle on Roman.  It all goes awry when Gallows tries to bing in a chair.  He ends up eating some chairs to the back to end the match in DQ.

I’m confused by this Roman.  I don’t hate it.  I think they’re giving us what we want…but I have no idea what they’re trying to do here.  I should be thrilled that what they’re doing isn’t predictable.  I’m worried, though, that this is all to make Roman look good going into his match with Braun.  And we’re also building up Braun.  I’m worried that it’s all a setup for Roman to go over Braun at Fast Lane.  He is Vince’s last project.

But I really put it up here, not in the “Everything Else” section, because of a spectacular spear to Anderson.  Love or hate Roman, this is pretty neat:

Bayley’s Choice


Apparently Bayley’s win last week was “controversial” since Sasha Banks interfered.  Nevermind that Dana interfered first.  Steph comes out and tries to guilt Bayley to relinquish the Championship, implying it would be against her character.  Bayley seems to consider it for a moment.

But it’s all an act.  She’s pinned Charlotte clean multiple times.  She would have found a way to do it last week without the interference.

It’s a good segment but I’m not sure it did a lot for Bayley’s character.  And I’m uneasy, after the Festival of Friendship, with Sasha professes her love for her friend.  The segment also sets up the official rematch at Fast Lane, with Charlotte’s PPV record in play.  Is Charlotte going to maintain her record or is there going to be a weird swerve at the PPV right before the biggest show of them all?

Charlotte and Sasha have a match afterwords, for some reason:

Tour de Meat: The Big Show

This match was way better than it deserved to be.  Show is in great shape and I really enjoyed watching Strowman get his moves in on show.  It was a big effort and I’m sure he’s exhausted today.  There were a couple moments that looked a little botchy but somehow the sloppiness helped the match.  It just made it look slightly more impressive.

I kind of wished he actually got a Superplex on Strowman, but you should save that for a PPV.  After a couple of running powerslams, the match comes to an end.  Roman comes out to get beat down by the monster.  I’m interested to see that Fast Lane match.

And now the Shaq Vs. Show match might not even happen?  That would be a shame.   Big Show is in great shape and Shaq has been training too.  Just make it a short match.

And Everything Else:

  • Tozawa vs Kendrick
    Technically this never starts.  Kendrick attacks Tozawa and gets him in the Bully Choke and leaves.  He’s all mad that Tozawa won’t let Brian be his mentor.  I like Tozawa a lot.  He’s my favorite of all the Cruisers and I’m really looking forward to a program with Kendrick
  • Neville and Jack Gallagher contract signing
    I’m normally not a fan of these contract signing segments.  You know, at some point, someone is going to flip the table and tackle the other.  It’s honestly no different in this segment, except that the challenger is wearing a very smart 3-piece suit and is very polite.  There’s even some tea and biscuits!  Neville is on fire here.  Is it weird that this might be the match I’m most looking forward to at Fast Lane?
  • Nia Jax squash match
    My DVR actually messed up here and I wasn’t able to get the name of her opponent.  It doesn’t matter though.  She made quick work of her opponent.  I’m glad she’s being utilized on TV but I hope there’s an end game here.  There’s a rumor they’ll be a Fatal 4-Way for the Women’s Championship in Orlando.  If that’s true, they want to keep her alive in everyone’s minds until after Fast Lane.  If that’s the case, I’m ok with this strategy.
  • Enzo and Cass vs Cesaro and Sheamus for #1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship
    Enzo and Cass will meet The Club (again) at Fast Lane, this time for the tag titles.  The thing to take away from this match is that they either need to give Enzo and Cass a little time off or they need to scale back on their normal schtick?  At the end of the match, Enzo got back on the mic and the crowd wasn’t really into it.  Sheamus came in with the Brogue Kick and the crowd erupted in “Thank You, Sheamus” chants.  When the guy that most closely resembles a heel gets cheers for taking out the babyface, you might have a problem.
  • The Rock was there in two dark segments: he opened the show and got fired by Vince McMahon and ended the show by calling CM Punk and leaving a voicemail.
  • And Brock and Heyman deliver a kind of bizarre interview/promo: