This week’s Monday Night Raw aired live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
This is the go home show for WWE Fastlane and there are just a few loose ends that need to be tied up to make a full card for the last pay-per-view stop on the road to Wrestlemania.
Raw starts out with Dean Ambrose immediately coming to the ring and calling out Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is not only one of his opponents in the upcoming pay-per-view, but has also been particularly antagonizing over the past few weeks. Dean says he is predicting an F5 and even welcomes it. Instead of the Beast, we get the Princess. Stephanie McMahon comes out she says that if Ambrose wants an F5, then that’s what he’ll get, in this case F5 meaning Fatal Five Way for the intercontinental title.
Fatal Five Way
Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze vs Stardust
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Spoiler alert: The Intercontinental title match ended up being the match of the night. The IC scene is what it is and we all know Breeze and Stardust aren’t likely to win it anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that’s how the match needs to play out. Everyone got their time to shine and all looked believable. The spot of the match came when each of the four competitors besides Owens was slumped into a corner. Cannonballs to all! Ambrose takes a cannonball, Stardust takes a cannonball, Ziggler takes a cannonball. Then finally as he runs towards Breeze he’s hit with a Supermodel Kick followed by a Beauty Shot. This sets up the match’s ending sequence. Breeze pins Owens and the three others break it up. Dean dumps Tyler to the outside. Stardust tries for the disaster kick but Dean avoids it setting up dirty deeds. Just then Dolph hits Ambrose with the ZigZag. Tyler gets rid of him in hopes of stealing the pin. Instead Kevin Owens comes in out of nowhere to hit the pop-up powerbomb and win his second intercontinental championship.
After the break Ambrose is backstage with Renee Young. He Says the loss motivated him to focus more on winning at Fastlane. Dean leaves and Owens comes in bragging to Renee “I told you so”. Ziggler comes in to congratulate him on his win and also say that due to him beating Owens the last two weeks on Raw that he deserves the first title shot. Owens declines and walks away.
Mark Henry vs Big E
This is a match that was always meant to happen. The world’s strongest man vs the young pup who has legitimately broken some of his records. The match is hard hitting with the two throwing massive haymakers. Big E hits two running splashes, but it’s not enough. In the end, E has Henry up on his shoulder for the Big Ending and Mark escapes and just collapses to the mat clutching his side. Big E immediately pins him and ends the match. The end here was certainly rushed and Mark Henry seems to have gotten injured, but it’s hard to pinpoint where. On commentary JBL supposes that the two big splashes may have injured his ribs. Going back through the match again, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Mark is able to take an abdominal stretch afterwards. He also executed a hip toss and big boot where he didn’t seem to be in any pain. Hopefully the injury isn’t too serious if there ever an injury at all.
Brie Bella Interview
Byron asks Brie how Daniel Bryan is doing. Before she has the chance to complete her answer Charlotte’s music hits. The Diva’s Champion is encouraging Brie to forfeit, saying she needs to be home with her husband instead. She continues the mind games making reference to Bella’s future “goat-faced vegan babies”. This sends Brie into a rage, striking Charlotte with a flurry of kicks causing the champ to beat it.
The Miz vs AJ Styles
The three way feud between The Miz, AJ Styles and Chris Jericho continues. Jericho is again on commentary. This, like their previous encounter, showcases that Styles is just the superior wrestler. This frustrated the Miz and it seems that it had become a part of the story. At the end the Miz runs at AJ in a corner. Styles catches his leg coming in and rolls over into his Calf Crusher submission making Miz tap out. Afterwards Styles finally gets to address Jericho on the mic. He says Y2J is embarrassed to have lost to him in his first match. He challenges him to a third match in their series, the tie breaker at Fastlane. Jericho says he’s not sure and that he let everyone know his answer at SmackDown.
The Dudley Boyz have an in-ring promo where they let the Usos know they were wrong to expect the nice guy friendly Dudleys to return to WWE, and that they are the ass kicking, most decorated WWE tag team of all time. They also reiterate their message from Smackdown that they won’t be using any more tables. This is a smart move on the part of the Dudleys. A lot of times heels in the WWE do things that excite the crowd. Heels are supposed to be hated and the Dudley’s are doing just that.
Paige vs Summer Rae
This seems like the first time we’ve seen Summer Rae in action in some months and she looks strong here. She’s not wrestling like someone who’s mostly served as a valet on the main roster wrestling a two-time Diva’s Champion. Paige does gain the upper hand hitting a viscious running knee. After getting a two count on the pin she grabs the legs perhaps setting up for the PTO. Paige might have played to the crowd a bit too much though as it allows Summer to roll her up for the win.
Heath Slater vs Zack Ryder
The #socialoutcasts seem to be having a lot of fun win or lose. In low card matchups such as this, I like to fill in the blanks of where a story could be. Here Zack Ryder is mad because he is supposed to be the social media darling of the WWE. This is a short back and forth. Ryder sends Heath to the outside and hits a dive over the top rope. When they get back in, Bo Dallas jumps the apron for the destraction. Slater catches Ryder with a heel kick followed by lifting DDT for the win.
Next week get our weekly Road to the Golden Truth segment. R-Truth is having dinner at a restaurant with his lady friend and their waiter shows up. It just so happens to be the Bizzare One, Goldust. Dust offers them a free bottle of champagne and on opening it sprays it on Truth’s date and that’s basically it. Goldust needs to work on his recruiting skills.
Becky Lynch vs Naomi
Becky was shown backstage earlier receiving a super kick from Tamina, so there’s no mystery as to why she’s so fired up coming into this match. She makes short work of Naomi tapping her out to the Disarmer. Afterwards Tamina comes in and Team B.A.D. beat down Becky. Sasha banks comes or for the save and she and Lynch seem to be on the same page heading into their Fastlane tag match.
Lucha Dragons and Neville vs The League of Nations
In the six man match essentially the only lasts that matter are Kalisto and Alberto who are feuding over the US Title. The match is for the most forgettable. The high flying team hit a triple dive to the outside at one point. The League of Nations picks up win after del Rio catches Sin Cara with the double stomp while he’s hanging from the ropes.
Paul Heyman calls down Roman Reigns. Heyman reminds Roman that everything is on the line and that Dean is just as much an enemy on Sunday night as is his client Brock Lesnar. Reigns says he will win at Fastlane and he’ll go on to beat Triple H at Wrestlemania. Heyman exits the ring and the Dudley Boyz attack Reigns. Dean Ambrose comes down to make the save. The Dudley’s scatter and the two best friends embrace. Ambrose then quickly tries to lock Reigns in for Dirty Deeds, but Roman gets out of it. Dean points to the WrestleMania sign indicating that that’s what it’s all about.
Big Show vs Braun Strowman
Before the match Bray Wyatt is talking about Twitter for some reason. He does a metaphor off of Twitter followers and his followers. If doesn’t really land. Show and Strowman fight very briefly before the rest of the Wyatts gang up on him. Ryback comes out to tilt the odds slightly, but they down him quickly. Fire shoots out of the ring posts signifying Kane’s presence. The Wyatts look down the ramp but Kane busts out from below the ring. The Big Red Machine starts clearing house along with Ryback and Big Show and the Wyatts hightail it. The Titans of the WWE, as Byron Saxton calls them, stand tall as Raw goes off the air.