Welcome to Monday Night Raw! We’re 24 hours removed from WWE Fastlane and we’re heading fast into WrestleMania.
So, I think it’s fair to say Fastlane was a…maligned PPV, to say the least. The booking decisions made by WWE were questionable and the PPV suffered from overly predictable outcomes. Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens in under 30 seconds, thanks to a distraction by Chris Jericho. The finish went over fairly well in the arena but the reaction online was far from pleasant.
Lesnar Match: 1:26 min
Royal Rumble: 3:33 min
Total: 5.21 min = Universal Champ
— WWE en Español (@FansWWE_es) March 6, 2017
So Goldberg walks into WrestleMania as WWE Universal Champion and he takes on the man he beat in record time. The booking of Goldberg was fun and a great surprise when he defeated Lesnar, then again in the Rumble, but now many fans are realising that he can’t work a longer match, and so squashes are necessary. Also, squashing Lesnar made for a huge shock and nice change of pace, but squashing a fan-favourite like Owens was more of a burial of the current top heel. Regardless, now we have two Championship matches at WrestleMania, one of which will surely last longer than 5 minutes, entrances included.
The second biggest “issue” of the night came from Roman Reigns defeating Braun Strowman…clean. I, along with many fans, assumed there was no way that would be the outcome when Strowman has been booked so strongly. However now it feels like he was booked this strong, just to feed to Roman, who will go on to face Undertaker at WrestleMania. You can see the logic behind him pinning Strowman but WWE seemingly don’t understand that a loss to Braun wouldn’t have derailed Roman’s momentum; Reigns is in the same company as John Cena, in which wins and losses do nothing to elevate or deflate their momentum. So Reigns goes on to bigger things, both literally and figuratively, and Strowman seems lost in the wilderness. Where does the monster among men go from here? Hopefully he finds a new direction tonight.
Bayley ended the 16-PPV long win streak of Charlotte, largely thanks to an interference from Sasha Banks, last night. This means Bayley will walk into WrestleMania as the Women’s Champion, but who will she face? Many expected Sasha to turn heel and cost Bayley the title last night, which made a lot of sense considering Charlotte’s streak and the assumed Fatal 4-Way approaching, however that wasn’t the route WWE took. Expect the 4-Way to start taking shape tonight.
Elsewhere, Samoa Joe destroyed Sami Zayn last night, and says his WrestleMania direction will become clear soon. The Club retained the Tag Titles over Enzo & Cass but, due to hook and crook, this rivalry is far from over. Rusev lost big-time to Big Show, who may or may not still be facing Shaq at WrestleMania. And Neville retained the Cruiserweight Championship in the match of the night with Jack Gallagher. There’s plenty of ground to cover on tonight’s Raw, as well as Seth Rollins rehabilitation video. Are you excited for tonight’s show and the final stretch of WrestleMania season? Let us know in the comments, download the Ringside News app, and enjoy the show!