There are only two items on the preview for tonight’s show, Stone Cold Steve Austin is appearing, and The Undertaker is coming to sign the WrestleMania contract with AJ Styles. RAW comes from the Performance Center tonight, as SmackDown did on Friday, and as WrestleMania will. Hall of Fame and TakeOver have been cancelled pending further information It’s going to be an odd show, but these are unprecedented times.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Rey Mysterio def. Andrade
♦ Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler opened the show to explain where they were and that there was obviously no audience. Edge interrupted them to get things underway.
He said it had been a strange few months for him and Beth, then showed the footage of everything that has happened with Randy Orton. Once it was done, he talked about his relationship with Randy Orton and all their history. They even both owe Mick Foley credit for pushing them to fulfil their potential, but there was one lesson Edge took that Orton didn’t. Grit. The grit he needed to stand up after all the surgeries and come back. They’re a lot alike but Orton is an entitled brat. He’s one of the best to ever do this, but it was handed to him on a silver platter and he’s jealous of people like Edge who worked for everything and made it.
That’s what it’s all about, not love, jealousy. Orton can’t do what Edge does and it tears him apart. So when Beth came back to give an update. She was there to retire for him again because she didn’t think it was fair for him to have to do it, but Orton couldn’t let her finish. All those years Edge stopped Orton making horrible decisions, and this time Orton saved him making a horrible decision. So, at WrestleMania, if Orton has the guts, it’s Edge versus Randy Orton Last Man Standing.
♦ Becky Lynch was shown arriving earlier in the day, in a massive truck with her face on it and with a huge smile on her face.
♦ The men’s Royal Rumble match was shown in its entirety. Three hours to fill is a tough call with no crowd and minimal personnel. SmackDown showed the tag team Elimination Chamber match on Friday. If you want to know what happened, read the Royal Rumble review here.
♦ Commentary explained the new setting for WrestleMania as a lead into assuring us Brock Lesnar versus Drew McIntyre would still be happening, and showing McIntyre laying out Lesnar last week.
♦ Jerry Lawler was supposed to officiate the contract signing between AJ Styles and The Undertaker. The Undertaker arrived first and flipped the table over as Lawler exited the ring and we went for a break. After the break, we were told he was cross because the contract wasn’t there ready. AJ Styles’ music played three times before Styles appeared from backstage with Gallows and Anderson. He had the contract in his hand as he explained The Undertaker was a legend but past it and shouldn’t be interjecting himself into WrestleMania. Once again, he blamed Michelle McCool. There were a lot of other jibes, including Styles promising to pay for Taker’s assisted living costs when it was over, then he signed the contract.
It took a bit of convincing for Anderson and Gallows to take the contract out to The Undertaker. He stood in the centre of the ring as they edged forward and dropped it on the apron, then the lights went out and when they came back on he was behind them. In the first bit of live action of the night, Gallows and Anderson got their asses kicked. Styles looked on from backstage but didn’t come to help. The Undertaker signed the contract and shoved it in Karl Anderson’s mouth.
♦ Rey Mysterio vs Andrade was the first, and only, live match of the night, fifteen minutes into hour three. It was good, but made even more entertaining by Asuka joining commentary. Rey Mysterio got the win with a 619 and frogsplash.
♦ Becky Lynch addressed her in-ring promo to Shayna Baszler, who was watching from backstage. She said nothing in Baszler’s world makes sense while she is holding the belt. Baszler has been taught she can bully her way to the top, but then she sees ‘this loud ginger absolute legend of an Irishwoman’ and it makes her question the order of things. As long as Lynch is champ, Baszler’s whole world is a lie. Lynch is the animal that got tired of being hunted, the prey who killed its predator. Everything Lynch says is designed to make Baszler think exactly what she wants her to think. So she can cut through the rest of the division but she knows Lynch is a whole different proposition and it enrages her and her little buddies. Lynch wants her to think about how it’s going to feel when Lynch beat her. She watched her demolish the entire division in the chamber, but at WrestleMania, she’s going to prove Baszler’s whole life is a lie, and it will hit her like a truck.
Shayna Baszler was shown again backstage. She did not look happy.
♦ Kevin Owens accepted Seth Rollins challenge for a one on one match, at WrestleMania. For months Rollins has had the advantage, but not at the Performance Center, that’s Owens’ turf. Seth didn’t spend time at the Performance Center, but Owens started his WWE career there. He had his tryout there, where he heard he wasn’t a guy who was going to make it in WWE. Owens made memories within those walls. He made friends he considers brothers and met mentors. And at WrestleMania, he adds beating Seth Rollins to the list.
♦ Stone Cold Steve Austin got the final segment, still running through his poses to the imaginary crowd. He said he’d blown himself out on his entrance and it sounded like it, then he declared 3:16 day a national holiday. He explained the rules, with Byron Saxton rating each one, then invited Saxton to come and celebrate with him. When he did, he told him off for some of the ratings, toasted him as a jackass, then gave him a stunner after they’d chugged beer.
Becky Lynch came down to the ring, stepping on Saxton on her way in, and had a couple of beers, each, with Austin. She’d given him a stunner the last time they were in a ring together, but this time they just drank a lot of beer before Stone Cold poured a beer over Byron Saxton’s head and gave him another stunner.
There were a lot of recaps and filler, but it was a nice relaxed show and a three-hour escape from reality. WrestleMania will be different, as will the rest of the build, but it will be welcome entertainment.