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WWE RAW results, recap, reactions (Feb. 20, 2017): The Man Event

Beef: It's what's for the main event of RAW this week.

This week’s edition of Monday Night RAW emanated from Los Angeles, California from the Staples Center. The red brand continues its build towards next month’s brand exclusive, Fastlane, plus the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania 33. For full results, read the amazing Reverand Kain’s live blog.


The Man Event was the main event tonight. Anticipation has been built for this Big Show versus Braun Strowman match for a while now. WWE stressed earlier in the night that the ring would be reinforced to handle the clash of these super heavyweights. The visual gave a nice touch and sold how much humanity would be in the ring.

Big Show was presented as the biggest challenge in Strowman’s young career. Neither man showed an ounce of intimidation as they squared off. Strowman displayed his uncanny athleticism and strength to dominate the match. This was really good stuff and showed a deeper layer of what Strowman can do in the ring.

After dominating for a while, Big Show was able to hit a huge belly to back suplex to turn the tide in his favor. After finally knocking Braun off of his feet, Big Show got a nearfall after a chokeslam. Show’s attempt to go to the top rope were cut off and the big men struggled with each other in the corner. Strowman kicked out of a KO punch hit while he was coming from the second rope. Nothing Show did could keep the younger big man down.

So Big Show went to the second rope for a big splash. Strowman evaded it and hit the Running Powerslam but Big Show kicked out of it. At this point, Los Angeles reigned down "This is Awesome" chants. Both men got to their feet. Strowman hit another Running Powerslam and pinned Big Show to end the match.

Immediately after the pin, Reigns came out attacked Strowman. He was once again stopped from Spearing the big man when the move was countered with a dropkick. Strowman hit the Running Powerslam on Reigns and left him down in the ring for the third week in a row to close the show.

Braun is the best thing about about Monday Night RAW.

Superheros Don’t Exist

The show started off with a video package of the Festival of Friendship from last week, including Kevin Owen’s heartbreaking betrayal of Chris Jericho. After the clip, the WWE Universal Champion was shown already sitting in the middle of the ring, the house lights dimmed with a spotlight on him. This setting was appropriate because Kevin Owens opened with speaking about the spotlight finally being on him.

Kevin went on to address his Fastlane opponent, Goldberg. KO mentioned the "Goldberg" chants, saying those are why Bill thinks he is invincible. He stated that he is not afraid or impressed by Goldberg and the only reason he beat Brock Lesnar in the manner that he did at Survivor Series is Lesnar underestimated him and Goldberg was lucky. The longer the match goes at Fastlane, the worse it will be for the challenger and better for the Champ, who fully intends to use his brain over the WCW legend’s brawn.

This was a very good promo from KO. Nice little touch with him saying he knows how to "play the Game" better than anyone. He ended his message to his challenger by suggesting that Goldberg wanted to use the Universal Championship as a prop in his superhero games. At the end he said, "Now as far as Chris Jericho goes . . ." and dropped the microphone, giving the fans no solid explanation for last week’s betrayal.

Later, RAW General Manger Mick Foley informed KO that he could not leave the building because he had a match with Sami Zayn. KO responded with a laugh and said, "I thought you liked Sami Zayn. You better careful or you’ll have more guys on the injury reserve list."

Before the match, Zayn gave an interview and said that he warned Jericho about KO. He said KO and Samoa Joe are similar in that they will do terrible things and justifies their actions. He said eventually time will catch up with both of them. Zayn was fired up and promised to kick the Champ’s teeth in.

Samoa Joe ambushed Zayn during his entrance for his match with KO while the Champ looked on from with ring with indifference. Joe shouted, "This is your world now!" and tossed him into the ring, basically feeding him to Owens. Zayn refused to give up and told the referee to start the match. KO attacked his former best friend as soon as the bell rang. Poor Sami did not stand a chance and was pinnned after a Pop Up Powerbomb.

Bayley’s Decision

A video package highlighting the journey of the current RAW Women’s Champion, Bayley, to her title win was shown, including the interferce of Charlotte Flair’s protege, Dana Brooke, and Bayley’s best friend, Sasha Banks. The tweet from Charlotte was shown after the video package. The WWE promised to have Bayley address the controversy.

After building to it all night, Bayley appeared right before the final hour of the show to address the WWE Universe. The new RAW Women’s Champion talked about growing up in California and always wanting to be champion heading into WrestleMania. She talked about her first WWE live event and gave a shout out to her father. Bayley basically said that she was not going to give up the title just because Charlotte wants her to.

RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon interrupted Bayley’s speech. She called Bayley’s victory last week tainted. She asked the question, "Did Bayley did it or did Sasha do it?" Stephanie said that Bayley is good and honest and she would throw that all away to hold a championship that she did not really earn. She asked Bayley to relinquish the RAW Women’s Championship.

"No matter what these people say, you’re better than that." Stephanie pleaded as the fans shouted "No!"

Sasha Banks rushed out. Stephanie went on about Sasha thinking Bayley can not stand on her own. Sasha told Bayley not to listen to Stephanie. She begged Bayley to listen to the fans and asked the crowd should she give up the championship, which they responded with a resounding "NO!". Stephanie said that Sasha knows she cannot beat Charlotte but she can beat Bayley and that is why Sasha wants Bayley to keep the title.

Bayley said that the title should represent what Bayley stands for and not controversy. She took a while before telling Stephanie that she was not giving up the title. Bayley stood up to Stephanie, just as Sasha had moments before. Surprisingly, Stephanie did not respond and pretty much accepted that Bayley said no. That is when Charlotte Flair arrived.

Charlotte sucked up to Stephanie first, which is required of all the "bad guys" on the show when around the Commissioner. She challenged Bayley for a rematch at Fastlane. The match was set and Sasha threw out a challenge to Charlotte to face her on the show tonight, which Stephanie made for right after the commercial break.

Charlotte and Sasha have unreal chemistry to me. I always enjoy their matches and this was not an exception. Bayley was on commentary. She pointed out that Sasha only evened up the odds in the title match last week. Bayley also drove home the fact that Charlotte is undeated on pay-per-view in championship matches and that she will have to fight harder to retain the title than she did to win last week.

Once again, Dana Brooke came out to interfere. Her actions were thwarted by Bayley and Sasha Banks got the victory with a Bank Statement.

While I enjoyed the segment overall, there is one issue here. I posted Charlotte’s above tweet, which was apparently a big reason why Bayley had to address the "controversy" of her championship victory. Then, after all the fanfare between Bayley, Stephanie, and Sasha, Charlotte came out and just nonchalantly stated she did no want Bayley to give up the Championship.

Um . . . okay. Sure.

A King and a Gentleman

Austin Aries hosted the contract signing for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Fastlane. The challenger, Jack Gallagher was in the ring with a nice set up on the contract table. He signed the contract after calling the champion, Neville, delusional. Aries called out Neville, who arrived and immediately signed the contract. He went to leave when Gallagher called him back into the ring.

Gallagher offered to put differences aside over tea and biscuits. Neville said that Gallagher is exactly what the imbecile Americans expect British people to be. He said Gallagher should be ashamed and called him a stereotype. Neville insisted that he represents the real British. Neville felt like the challenger is a caricature and fans are laughing at him.

Gallagher said he was not "playing a gentleman", he is a gentlemen. That is how he was raised. He called Neville out for calling himsel a King and he will not stand for him talking down on the fans. Neville tossed the table and asked Gallagher what he was going to do. Gallagher took Neville down and ran him off, standing tall with his umbrella, William.

I like the idea of Gallagher dismissing Neville’s angry foreigner gimmick right out and going to the core of the issue, which is the champion’s attitude since returning from injury. The crowd responded well to this segment and I am looking forward to their match at Fastlane.

Other Segments and Matches:

  • Number One Contender’s Match for the RAW Tag Team Championship: Former champions, Cesaro and Sheamus, took on Enzo and Big Cass. This was a nice TV match but it’s Cesaro and Sheamus so that is to be expected at this point. Enzo and Big Cass won when Cass pinned Cesaro after an East River crossing. Afterwards, Sheamus Brogue Kicked Enzo for running his mouth about winning.
  • Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson versus Roman Reigns: For some reason which I have not yet been able to understand, the RAW Tag Team Champions are harassing Roman Reigns now and requested a rematch with him from last week. Foley offered Roman a partner but Mr. One Versus All refused. The match ended in DQ after Reigns used a chair and beat up Gallows and Anderson. The champions may have won but paid the price. Reigns murdered the Tag Team Champions at the end of this segment, as he should have, ending his carnage with a wicked Spear to Anderson.
  • Brian Kendrick versus Akira Tozawa: The Brian Kendrick attacked Tozawa before the match in a fit a rage after the latter would not shake his hand. He is also upset because Tozawa refused to be his protege. TBK insisted that no one disrespects him. His actions were about a lesson in respect and that was just the first one.
  • WrestleMania 33 hosts: The longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions will host the show this year. Congratulations to Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods.
  • The New Day versus Handsome Rusev and Jinder Mahal: I was one of those people who complained about New Day but I have turned a corner and now they can do no wrong for me. Their parts on the show are always fun and I got a chuckle out of Lana hacking New Day to steal their ice cream formula. The match went a bit too long but it had its entertaining moments. Woods and Lana’s interactions were great. New Day won with Midnight Hour and Woods got the plans back from Lana. All is right in the World.
  • George "the Animal" Steel: WWE ran a video package to honor the WWE Legend who passed away recently. Ivan Koloff’s passing was also briefly mentioned.
  • Nia Jax versus local talent: Nia won quickly against Sarah Pierce with a Samoan drop. After the match, Nia said the only controversy in the Women’s Division was that she has not had a title opportunity and said she was putting the champion, Bayley, on notice.
  • 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee: The master of the Diamond Cutter, WCW Legend, Diamond Dallas Page has been added to this year’s class.
  • Michael Cole Live Sit Down Interview: I suppose these will be a running thing going forward as Samoa Joe got the honor last week. This time Paul Heyman and his client, Brock Lesnar, were interviewed. After running Cole off, Heyman addressed the upcoming Universal Championship match at Fastlane and how that tied to Lesnar versus Goldberg at WrestleMania.
  • Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley backstage segment: When is Steph going to fire Foley? It has to be coming, right? Foley finally stood up to his boss and she threatened him with bodily harm.

Final Thoughts and Opinions:

I enjoyed the first half of the women’s segment, especially the part where Bayley and Sasha stood up to Stephanie and did not get publicly humiliated by her. I also liked Stephanie’s condescending tone with the two and the fact that she tried to stir the pot between the Hugster and the Boss. But the entire reason the segment came about seemed to be because Charlotte demanded that Bayley give up the title and she brushed if off as no big deal. Not that I wanted Bayley to lose the title that way. I felt it was an odd way just to set up a rematch that was owed to Charlotte anyway.

Other than that glaring issue, I rather enjoyed the stories coming out of this show. Cruel and vicious Kevin Owens is back with a vengeance and his connection to a similar minded Samoa Joe is s-c-a-r-y. Sami Zayn as the light among as the darkness near the main event scene remains a weekly treat. The story with Braun, the unstoppable monster, versus Roman, the never-say-die badass, continues to be fun. Braun has had an answer to Reign’s Spear more than once. He is not only strong and scary athletic; he’s smart.

Then there is Goldberg and Lesnar. I am still not interested in this story myself but I can appreciate the WWE weaving in the Universal Champion into the conversation, giving some small doubt of what the actual main event of WrestleMania will be. I am also enjoying the story around the Cruiserweight title as well as Brian Kendrick starting a beef with a younger star based on respect.

The Tag Team Division seems a bit of a mess as the Tag Team Champions were sacrificed so Roman could look really, really strong. The new number one contenders are in a weird position where fans will chant with the group during their intro and chant "Thank You, Sheamus" when Enzo gets kicked in the mouth. And the most popular act in the division, New Day, is more concerned with expanding their brand Bella style than the titles.

As far as Fastlane goes, this show did its job for me. KO’s opener in particular helped a great deal in selling me on wanting to see the Universal Championship match. Goldberg has not been challenged to work a match longer than a few minutes. What will happen if Owens can survive longer? KO has made a point to emphasize that he has been proving his doubters wrong for a long time.

Another solid show with great action and stories throughout the program.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Your turn. Give your opinions in the comment section.

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