The Festival of Friendship Makes Monday Night RAW Awesome
The show opens with a tribute graphic to Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Throughout the night, we get promos and past clips featuring Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, hyping tonight’s Festival of Friendship.
Stephanie McMahon kicks off by announcing Mick Foley is not in Las Vegas tonight. The boos only increase as Roman Reigns interrupts as Stephanie points out how the fans don’t care for him or his health. Reigns demands Strowman, crowd cheers to see Strowman. Steph announces he has an opponent already, Mark Henry. Reigns refuses to leave, so Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson show up and the goes to a handicap match.
Roman Reigns wins said handicap match by DQ when the RAW Tag Team Champions ignore the referee’s five count. A chair comes into play, allowing Reigns to turn the tide. He is warned, if he interferes in Strowman’s match, he doesn’t go to WrestleMania 33.
Kofi Kingston defeats Bo Dallas
Not sure if this is supposed to turn The New Day heel, but they are on a streak of making fun of heel jobbers. They also introduce blueprints to New Day Ice Cream, but Dallas shreds them. Kingston wins, and then flushes a box of Booty-O’s down his throat.
Backstage: Neville trashes Gallagher.
Jack Gallagher defeats Noam Dar
Loving the cruiserweights more and more, seems with Neville as the king, the rest of the roster has been allowed to step up their performance. The five-way on 205 Live last week was nuts. I wonder if Neville will drop the title already or if this is a feud which will continue long-term.
Outside: Samoa Joe and Triple H arrive via limo.
Finally! After 17 weeks of promos, Emma is out as Emmalina… Then announces she will be undergoing a makeover to go back to being Emma. Not sure if better or worse than Eva Marie.
Backstage: Bayley is nervous about her match for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship.
Braun Strowman defeats Mark Henry but you probably already figured that out. Despite the announce team making you think this match is a big deal, it is not, because this match was over before it started. Typical Henry with some big hits, and a total of six people in the live audience actually start to believe Mark Henry will win, until Strowman gets the big man up for the powerslam and it’s all over. Post-match, Reigns attacks, but Strowman wins again, and the crowd loves it.
Backstage: An interview segment between Michael Cole and Samoa Joe. Cole questions Triple H’s motivation for bringing Joe in, Joe’s tactics, and if Joe should watch his back. Joe doesn’t care about any of that, he will be his own man and destroy everyone. He makes a slight jab at Sami Zayn, saying “he’s just happy to be here.” Possible feud? Yo Joe!
Sami Zayn defeats Rusev
Cleanly. Rusev was the clear dominator, but Rusev appears to get arrogant, and winds up taking too long to re-enter the ring, and gets clobbered via Helluva Kick. Post match, Zayn calls out Joe on his interview, and guess what? Joe comes out and destroys Zayn. You know, because he is the destroyer. Guess we have an upcoming Fast Lane or WrestleMania match?
Backstage: Enzo and Cass trade verbal insults with Cesaro and Sheamus. We got a match tonight.
Akira Tozawa defeats Ariyah Davari
Good match, good to see Tozawa being highlighted on RAW. On commentary, Brian Kendrick touts he and Tozawa are aligning, because the other cruiseweights are all playing video games or on their phones. Kendrick wants us to believe he is mentoring Tozawa. Hoo boy, that won’t end well. Tozawa wins with a gorgeous German Suplex.
The Festival of Friendship
Chris Jericho is hysterical. Probably the best performance in recent memory. From the Vegas showgirls to the Birth of KO, a magician found on Craigslist, and the return of Gillberg, the Festival of Friendship delivered the hilarity we expected. Until the Universal Champion gives Jericho a gift… a new list… to which the show host is confused seeing his name on it, until he realizes, it is the List of KO.
Shock hits the audience as the champ then assaults Y2J. Owens powerbombs Jericho on the ring apron, and then puts his head through a TV monitor.
I expected this would happen eventually, but this was sudden and shocking.
I believe one part was genuine and not scripted, when Jericho talked about how he “enjoys working with Owens” and how it has made his current WWE run enjoyable.
This segment gets an A+.
Cesaro defeats Enzo Amore
Short match, Cesaro clocks Enzo with a very European uppercut for the win.
Backstage: Sasha Banks and Charlotte exchange some serious words prior to our main event tonight.
Main Event: Women’s Championship Match
Damn. This match. Damn. I got worried a few times, as Bayley took a lot of hits to the neck, and right now WWE needs to be careful with how hard and stiff they let their roster go with WrestleMania coming up. Bayley took a lot of neckbreaker-type moves, and even hitting hard on a Charlotte moonsault. Bayley nearly loses her balance on the top before dropping with a Macho Man elbow. Geez, Bayley can sell or she is really getting bounced around hard. The end gets nuts when Dana Brooke interferes, and it looks like its over, until Sasha Banks gets even, and Bayley hits her Bayley-to-Belly Suplex for the pinfall victory, and becomes the new Women’s Champion!
Wow. Tonight’s RAW was incredible. No shortage of entertainment whatsoever. I am shocked about the title change tonight, but damn glad to see Bayley with the championship.
SmackDown tomorrow night, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship