Known as the go home episode, we got our last episode of RAW before Wrestlemania. This is often one of the biggest and most important episodes of RAW throughout the entire year, as it finalizes the build to the storylines that we will see at the biggest event of the year. This episode, like most RAWs, had its ups and downs. Let’s get right into it.

Wrestlemania

Shane Shows that He’s Still Got it:

Well, that’s certainly one way to get the crowd excited for Wrestlemania. Without any doubt, this was the single best segment that WWE has done to promote this match between The Undertaker and Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania in Hell in a Cell. At long last, we finally feel like these two combatants actually hate each other; that both men have something that they will fight viciously for. After trading barbs on the mic, the two eventually came to blows that led them towards the announcer’s table. Both men went back and forth but, eventually, Taker found himself lying stunned on the table. In a move that no one was expecting, Shane leaped from the top rope in the ring, flew through the air, and delivered an elbow drop to The Undertaker (quick aside: watching it a second time, I noticed that the table was closer to the ring than usual, which makes sense after seeing what Shane did). This was truly an awesome moment, made all the better as Undertaker did his patented sit up as Shane made his way up the ramp. Undertaker standing tall to end the segment makes both men look strong, and casts a ton of uncertainty over the result of the match. This could very well be one of the best Wrestlemania matches in years, and I am looking forward to it like crazy.

The Crowd Lets Roman Know that “He Still Sucks:”

Boy, if there isn’t a more damning chant to end RAW I don’t know what it is. To sum everything up briefly, Roman Reigns and Triple H brawled throughout the night, highlighted by Roman interruptions of Triple H promos and sneak attacks on Reigns backstage. In the closing segment of the show, the two brawled again, leading to the entire locker room spilling out to separate the two men. You know what this segment reminded me of? The brawl between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar on the RAW following Taker’s return. That was probably the best RAW segment of the year, and the crowd was exploding throughout all of it. This crowd though, wanted nothing to do with this fight. Reigns was sent off with a chant of “You Still Suck!” from the fans, and the show ended on a very down note. It’s clear that there is nothing WWE can do to get Reigns over as a face right now. Their only option, which I hope they commit to, is to turn him heel at Wrestlemania.

Simple is Better with Dean Ambrose:

What a fantastic segment, one that WWE should look at when thinking of how to book Roman Reigns going forward. During another fantastic Paul Heyman promo (I always love to see Brock’s reactions to what Heyman says during the promos, because his laughter shows he has no idea what Heyman is going to say), Ambrose came to the ring with a wagon in tow. Completely ignoring Brock, Ambrose proceeded, to collect weapons from under the ring and throwing them in his wagon. Without looking at Brock once, despite Brock’s attempts to get his attention, Ambrose collected his things and left the arena without saying a word. In this one simple promo, WWE did everything that was needed to put a bow on this build. The brawls have been had, the words have been shared. All that was needed was a quick segment to build excitement, and that’s what they did. Excellent job here.

Other Notes:

  • AJ Styles against Chris Jericho is official for Mania and, once again, I really like what everyone is doing here. The excitement for the match is definitely watered down due to the fact that we’ve already seen this match at the last pay-per-view, but it’ll still be a good showing.
  • Once again, the Divas title scene kept itself in neutral this week, with no real developments in the story. Still, I can’t wait to see what these ladies do on Sunday.
  • After a scuffle with The League of Nations, The New Day got an endorsement from Jonathan Coachman, former WWE employee who now works for ESPN (Sportscenter will be at Wrestlemania on Sunday). The New Day continue to be one of the best things about WWE programming right now, and they will put on a show in Dallas.
  • The Ryback vs Kalisto feud continues to do nothing, and I continue to be upset that this isn’t the ladder match. The little guy overcoming the odds and beating the big guy just doesn’t work anymore.
  • Speaking of the ladder match, nothing was done to build that match either. WWE missed a golden opportunity to have a great singles match between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, one that already has a deep history in NXT. They really dropped the ball on this one.
  • Four words that sum up how much trouble WWE is in on Sunday: Eva Marie surprise return.

Kyle Kirby covers the WWE for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @couch_qb.

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