Few people in the WWE locker room have had as wild a couple of weeks as Kevin Owens. First, the WWE Universal Champion found himself finagled into a title defense against Goldberg at WWE Fastlane thanks to his overzealous friend, Chris Jericho. Then, KO repaid Jericho by annihilating him during last week’s extravagant “Festival of Friendship.” So, what does The Prizefighter have to say for himself?
A lot, as far as Goldberg goes. Perched on a chair under a blinding spotlight, Owens assured the WWE Universe that he would not make the same mistake Brock Lesnar did, and would outlast and outsmart Goldberg in a marathon match. And as for Jericho? When it came time to address his former friend, Owens simply dropped the mic and walked out. Clearly, he said all he had to say last week.
Well what do we got over here? A cuppa’ numba one contendas? Enzo Amore & Big Cass officially punched their ticket to a title match against Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson at WWE Fastlane, having outlasted former tag champs Cesaro & Sheamus in a hard-fought battle that was only slightly marred by Enzo’s excess trash talk.
To be fair, Amore did save the match, jumping Cesaro before he could administer the Cesaro Swing on Big Cass, thereby setting him up for the East River Crossing. And although Cass made his way to the locker room after the win, Enzo got on the mic to spit a little more hot fire at the expense of Cesaro. Muscles Marinara may have gone a bit too far for Sheamus’ liking, however, as The Celtic Warrior cut Enzo’s gift of gab short with a Brogue Kick right to the face. Now that’s a shameful thing.
On last week’s 205 Live, The Brian Kendrick’s formal offer to mentor Akira Tozawa was met with a resounding “NOOOOOPE!” (Seriously. It was great.) And if you thought The Wizard of Odd would take rejection in stride, well, think again: Instead of facing Tozawa one-on-one on Raw, Kendrick jumped The Stamina Monster during the customary Cruiserweight handshake, wrangled him into the Captain's Hook and left without looking back for a second after the damage had been done. Later, the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion explained that, despite Tozawa's refusal to be his student, he had imparted a valuable lesson in “respect” to the world-traveled Superstar all the same ... and hinted there may be more to come.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson technically lost to Roman Reigns via DQ last week, but they softened the former WWE Champion up enough that Braun Strowman made quick work of him later on in the night. Consider the favor returned. Reigns not only refused Raw General Manager Mick Foley’s suggestion to find a partner to face the good brothers, he quickly abandoned any intention of wrestling them at all when Gallows & Anderson ganged up on him with a chair. Reigns quickly thwarted The Suntan Biker Man, grabbed hold of the chair and swung away at the champs, leaving them down and willingly eating a DQ of his own in the process. When the good brothers continued to attack, Reigns sealed their doom with a Superman Punch to Gallows and a monumental Spear that took an airborne Anderson out of the sky.
The New Day have been tapped for the all-important gig of hosting WrestleMania this year (and are campaigning to play the hyenas in the new “Lion King” remake), but the call of their budding ice cream enterprise still beckons. So give Lana credit for knowing how to hit New Day where it hurts, as The Ravishing Russian straight-up hacked ya boys’ emails and stole their ice cream plans before their bout with Rusev & Jinder Mahal.
The threat of Lana revealing their schematics to the world hung heavy over Big E & Kofi Kingston, but once Xavier Woods seized and destroyed Lana’s iPad, E & Kingston pounced on Mahal with the Midnight Hour for the win. Impressed, Jon Favreau?
Any King — of the Cruiserweights or otherwise — knows that there’s a fair bit of paperwork involved in running a Kingdom. But Neville didn’t seem to be remotely interested in lingering during his WWE Cruiserweight Title Match contract signing (hosted by Austin Aries), turning to leave soon as he put pen to paper. When his challenger, Jack Gallagher, offered to share a cup of tea like civilized competitors, Neville replied by insulting Gallagher as a caricature of an Englishman and flipping the table over. At which point Gentleman Jack — after a fair warning — decided the time for gentlemanliness was over and rammed the WWE Cruiserweight Champion with a hellacious headbutt that sent Neville tumbling out of the ring. When Neville attempted to storm the ring for Round 2, Gallagher held him at bay with William the Third, and the King beat a hasty retreat.
The conclusion to last week’s Women’s Title Match has been the talk of the week in the ladies’ locker room, but if you ask Nia Jax, not enough people are talking about her. After eviscerating a local competitor named Sarah Piece, Jax was approached by Charly Caruso to give her thoughts on Bayley’s title victory. In short? She dared Bayley or Sasha Banks to pull any kind of stunt on her like last week, and capped off her interview by officially putting the champion on notice.
First things first: Bayley is still your Raw Women’s Champion. Despite the demands of Charlotte Flair — and Stephanie McMahon — Sasha Banks successfully helped convince Bayley to keep the title she earned, whether she needed an extra boost from Banks to get it done or not. And then, the Bayley-Banks connection did one better when The Boss defeated Charlotte herself in a non-title match, thanks to an ironic bit of assistance from The Huggable One herself.
In a near-mirror of last week’s shenanigans, Dana Brooke came down to ringside and it was Bayley who provided the assist, springing up from the commentary table to cut her off at the pass. With Charlotte distracted, she was easy pickings for the Backstabber-Bank Statement combo. So all is well in the land of the Bayley Buddies. But with the Queen having called her rematch for WWE Fastlane, dark clouds gather on the horizon.
Samoa Joe left Sami Zayn in a heap last week, but The Samoan Submission Machine wasn’t done with Zayn by a long shot after last week’s decimation. Off the heels of a backstage interview where Zayn threw some supplemental shade at Joe, The Destroyer jumped The Underdog from the Underground moments before Zayn’s scheduled bout with his eternal rival, Kevin Owens.
Zayn, of course, refused to call off the match despite being out on his feet, but the amount of damage Joe had done meant that he was little match for a revved-up KO, who dispatched him with a barrage of Cannonballs and a Pop-up Powerbomb in short order in what was surely a message to Goldberg. We'll find out next week if it was received.
Can Big Show stop Braun Strowman? No, he cannot, but he gave The Monster Among Men a hell of a fight in a clash of titans that required a reinforced ring and earned a “this is awesome” chant after the very first lock-up between the two giants. Show, perhaps expecting a slugfest, leaned heavily on his strength and power, but The Gift of Destruction shocked Show (and the audience) by breaking out the science and speed, including a side headlock and a kip-up (!), and transferring to pure power when warranted.
The World’s Largest Athlete briefly mounted The World’s Largest Comeback, stunning Strowman with a suplex, a pair of boots and a chokeslam, even landing a KO Punch to an airborne Strowman. But even that wasn’t enough to keep Strowman down. And while Show was able to kick out of one Running Powerslam, the second proved too much for him and Strowman claimed a hard-fought win.
Roman Reigns didn’t even wait two seconds to come after his WWE Fastlane opponent, and even though The Big Dog knocked Braun off his feet with the Superman Punch, Strowman got the last word (again) with a dropkick to a mid-Spear Reigns and a final Running Powerslam. So, can Roman Reigns stop Braun Strowman? No, he cannot, either.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Enzo Amore & Big Cass defeated Cesaro & Sheamus in a WWE Raw Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders’ Match (9:20)
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated Roman Reigns by DQ in a 2-1 handicap match (4:00)
- The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) defeated Jinder Mahal & Rusev (w/ Lana) (5:00)
- Nia Jax defeated Sarah Pierce (0:35)
- Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte Flair by submission (10:00)
- Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn (1:15)
- Braun Strowman defeated The Big Show (12:15)
Other on-screen talent