Your recapper would like to apologise for the way this recap is going to go, because I’ve been in and out of the ER for three days now, have numerous bruises and needle marks, and have now got no pain meds that work. I may have to pause certain parts of this, or mute them, to be on the phone to doctors to beg for painkillers, or I may have to stop to go to the hospital. I’m gonna try to be funny, guys – but it might not happen.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar start us off, and then Dean ambles down to tell us that the lair of a beast is cosy, and not that scary. He’s asking for Suplex City, because Dean doesn’t care about pain, he’s just after that title. He’ll fight his brother, and he’ll even fight Brock Lesnar, because he’s the Iron Man of the WWE! I really hope they’re making that a thing, rather than ‘the lunatic’ because I’m pretty sick of that, and Dean in a suit is… well.
We’re kicking off with a match I’ve literally titled Tol vs Smol, but which my fellow chatterbug Sora has titled Smol vs Swole. It’s Kalisto vs Rusev, with Del Rio on commentary, and Lilian announcing in Spanish, which is always beautiful. Del Rio is hanging out on commentary in just his trunks, because he doesn’t understand that humans wear clothes. He’s cheering on his big Russian bae, obviously, against tiny Kalisto, and Lana is also at ringside – so Rusev has both his lovers at ringside for him. The match starts off with Rusev dominating, first, of course, because he’s huge, and heavy, and the idea of Kalisto beating him is pretty hard to fathom unless he gets some momentum up.
When we get back from the first commercial break, we’ve seen Kalisto go over the top rope after Rusev and catching a big boot to the face from that, but Kalisto manages to hit a tornado DDT to take Rusev down. He’s getting the speed up now, but Rusev manages to catch him.
Apologies, my doctor called me to tell me to take paracetamol, and I had to go swear a little before coming back. Kalisto gets the win, but Rusev stays looking strong, as Kalisto wins due to count out.
We get a segment with Steph and Dean and Roman, and the Brothers in Arms will be fighting the New Day.
Renee interviews Brie about Nikki’s recovery, and it’s adorable, Brie showing off her boobs in a way that would make Nikki proud. Charlotte shows up with that old coffin dodger behind her, and says she’s not going to apologise for maybe hurting Nikki previously, and that Brie should pass on her sympathies that poor Nikki is sat at home doing online shopping instead of wrestling. She says she’s well on her way to being the new longest reigning Diva’s champion. Awesome writing, creative, make Charlotte completely unlikeable by removing all empathy and personality, in seconds, so she goes from a sobbing, cuddly girl who’s so grateful to her friends, to a cold, vicious sociopath in weeks.
The Usos are out to fight Curtis Axel and Adam Rose, with only Heath Slater with them. They think they’re better family than the Usos, and then they realise that Baby Bo is having naptime and they should go get him. They decide not to, in the end, so he won’t be cranky later, and the match begins.
Curtis Axel is wonderfully violent, and apparently he doesn’t like the Usos very much. He’s such an angry teenager, and Heath is slamming his hands on the apron like he’s an overzealous soccer mom. At one point Heath jumps up and waggles his crotch around as Mom Adam is trying to beat Jey Uso up, because Daddy’s gotta showboat when Momma’s winning big.
The Usos come back with some big enzuigiris, beating down the Social Outcasts, and they pick up the win, then have a little dance in the middle of the ring.
Miz gets brought some sub-par coffee, which he throws at someone who’s probably an unpaid intern, as he gets excited about having AJ Styles on Miz TV. As I’ve explained before, I don’t like AJ’s homophobia, so in response, I’ve just decided to make as many gay jokes about him as I can. So. Who did AJ Styles have to blow to get on Miz TV? Doesn’t matter, he’d have blown anyone.
Apparently the story of AJ Styles is phenomenal – you know what’s phenomenal? That Miz didn’t get interrupted for once. The Miz tells us the life story of AJ Styles, and how he’s always been the smallest guy in the room, from being the smallest of four boys, to being too small for the football team at school. The Miz even tries his hand at a southern accent, and he’s pretty good at it. God, the Miz actually is a bloody good talker, if he was on commentary, he could put anyone over. It’s just a shame he’s a wrestler. Or used to be. I don’t know.
Miz compares AJ to Daniel Bryan, only everyone loved Daniel Bryan on his own terms, without the company loving him, or anything like that – and then stops putting AJ over, because he’s angry about the response from the crowd. The Miz goes on and on about how AJ is just some little guy who won’t get anywhere without him, just some redneck who’ll fall apart in an ocean of sharks. “Who even is AJ Styles?” he asks, and I’m hard-pressed not to say ‘just some cocksucker we borrowed from the indies because Heyman wrote ‘personal sub’ into Lesnar’s contract recently’. AJ has had enough, and beats the hell out of the Miz, who runs away up the ramp, eventually falling to his knees, slamming his head on the metal and lying there, frightened. Poor Miz.
We get a short little video package about Black History Month, which we’re celebrating by having Alicia Fox accompany Brie Bella to the ring so she can stand at the side of the ring and be second fiddle to a girl who could pass for white, who’s wrestling a white girl. Just a word to the wise, WWE, we believe you care about things a lot more when you back them up in your own product.
Charlotte’s brought an old bundle of sticks and sexual assault to the ring with her, who’s no match for Alicia’s gorgeousness, and yet the camera will focus more on him that it does on the women in the ring, because he once did something. Charlotte starts off aggressive, and Brie looks like she’s taking a lot of punishment, but she rallies wonderfully, and she’s getting a face turn because everyone she loves is injured.
Alicia shouts at Ric Flair to get down off the apron and mind his own business, calling him an old man, and he aims a couple of kicks at her, because Alicia is a fucking BOSS. Oh my god, Alicia Fox, I love you. As this happens, Charlotte’s getting distracted by this mess, and Brie manages to roll her up for the win!
She looks so happy as she leaves the ring, cuddled by Alicia, two besties together, and Charlotte looking angry at her dad. Yes, please please please can he stop showing up to matches unless someone is going to kick him in the head? Please? That would be wonderful to see. #DivasDeserveBetter
We get the sad news of Bret Hart’s prostate cancer, and I can’t help but notice this is longer than the segment on Black History Month. Just pointing that out. Now, maybe Maya Angelou never main evented Wrestlemania, but still.
Wyatts out to face Big Show now, and oh now, how will they beat the giant? How will this happen? What a terrible – Big Show gets the steps right from the start, and throws Rowan around a bit – and it’s all over very quickly, to be honest, aside from Strowman being thrown into the announce table. After the match is over, the Wyatts work over Big Show, poor man, and Erick Rowan screams at the camera, because he believes they steal his soul.
The crowd actually wake up a little for this mauling of Big Show by the Wyatts, for a little bit of booing and a Big Show chant. Hearing one of the Wyatts say ‘give up’ is pretty hilarious, considering the fact that the match is over, and Big Show is just trying to leave and get out of the singlet and go get a burger or something, they’re the ones harassing him. This is a very heat-heavy crowd – they seem to be booing a lot, but not many cheers. I guess they’re a little upset about all these nothing matches, but come on guys, we just had a PPV. We’ve got to cool down for two weeks, before we ramp up to Fastlane.
I call my doctor back at this point, because I’m still in agony, so I miss hearing gorgeous Tyler’s theme! I think his beige and brown outfit is a little dull, in all honesty. The match is over very quickly, before my phone call is done, with nothing very impressive happening, and Titus wins easily with the Clash of the Titus.
We then get a segment with HHH talking to Brock Lesnar about the upcoming triple threat match at Fastlane, and he worries that Suplex City is getting a little soft these days. Brock says they’ll see at Wrestlemania, and there’s a tense moment where Trips thinks of going in for the kiss, but remembers that he only does that for Shawn Michaels, and quickly makes his exit. Heyman also calls Trips a billion-dollar trophy husband, which is entirely accurate. Queen Steph rules the roost.
Dolph Ziggler out to face Kevin Owens, and I talk so much less about how pretty Dolph is now he ties his hair up, but this half-up style is rather hot, so maybe that will change this. KO starts on the offensive, and gets a kick to Dolph’s back, so that’s the injury my pretty boy will be selling for the rest of the match. KO uses some of that strength to throw Dolph around, even though our favourite show off gets a good dropkick in, KO throws Dolph into the timekeeper’s area.
When we come back from commercial, Owens has Ziggler in a headlock, which he struggles to fight out of, and I wonder if Owens just wants to punch everyone I think is pretty. Dolph slams into the turnbuckle in the corner, and I’m pretty sure that was a real hit, because he flies back with a jerk most people can’t fake, and as the camera cuts away, you can hear ‘fuck fuck fuck’. The ref moves over to him a little faster than normal, too.
However, he keeps going, though he’s barely moving out of the way, and KO’s running senton looks like he takes it to the miss a little more. Actually, the match keeps going for a long while, Dolph rallying and eventually claiming the win, so… maybe Lance Storm just trained the best seller in the business and I’m unable to tell story from reality.
Afterwards, KO flings things at commentary – we all feel like that, Kev, don’t worry – and Dolph cuddles people, because he likes to make friends that way.
We get a Black History Month segment about Mark Henry, and it’s lovely, actually, I know they’re closing the doors on his career soon, and it’s really nice to see stuff from his career as a strongman, before he was party of WWE. He’s clearly just a terrific guy, and Big Show looks adorably emotive over him, which I love seeing. It’s really nice to see him honoured like that.
Glorious queen wonder Sasha is here to talk to us, with her beautiful pink hair. She says she won’t sit in the back anymore and let other Divas have what she wants. She says that’s why she’s come out on her own – which makes me sad for the loss of Tamina and Naomi. This is clearly going to be the breakup of Team Bad.
Naomi and Tamina come out and say baby girl has all grown up. Naomi has gorgeous galaxy hair which I love. Naomi says that everyone has to step out on their own, and Tamina says they’re there to support her and congratulate her and encourage her and – I’m crying? Actually crying at this, because I want to see this so badly. We have it with Ambrose and Reigns, friends who happen to fight each other sometimes, and I want them do it with these girls.
Becky Lynch out to fight Sasha now, and Tamina and Naomi are going to back her up. I do a disservice to my sisters in feminism by taking a call from my doctor during this match, so coverage is a little spotty, a bit like my medical care. They tell me to head to the emergency department for more IV morphine, and all I can think is how long it’s going to take to find a vein they can get into. Maybe I’ll finish recapping Raw first. I’m not in any rush to get tutted at by a doctor who thinks I’m drug seeking.
The match is fast-paced, but broken up by Tamina and Naomi turning on Sasha, of course, because WWE only has one storyline for women, which is that ‘they just hate each other’ as Booker T succinctly puts it. I’m just really tired of seeing this. Becky breaks up the beat down from Tamina and Naomi, to help defend Sasha, and this segment ends with Becky and Sasha in the middle of the ring, together.
Renee is talking to Jericho, who seems too excited about AJ Styles for someone who isn’t regularly getting head from him. He says the match was really exhilarating, and thrilling, and exciting – like, dude, it’s okay. AJ Styles will suck any dick going, he’s really not fussy, you can chill a little.
Goldust and R-Truth have a chat in a toilet, and Truth says he won’t tag with Goldie because he’s a weirdo. Poor Goldie, you’ll just have to go back to Stardust and see if he’ll be your friend now, even if you did just call him a weirdo. Poor things.
Main event! It’s The New Day vs. Ambreigns – I mean, uh, Brothers in Arms. The New Day are still pretty sore about the booty comments, saying The Rock has a problem with foul language, and that he’s been very mean to them. Big E literally asks us to think about the children, and there’s a kid in a Bullet Club shirt doing the New Day jiggle, which is brilliant. Love it.
THEY MENTION FANFICTION. Sorry, just, when people within the thing you write fic for actually talk about it, it’s incredible. They say ‘ambreigns’, which is Roman and Dean’s ship name, and now I totally believe Xavier Woods is into reading ambreigns fic – I think Big E likes rolleigns, and Kofi likes ambrollins. It’s tearing them apart. They also refer to the boys as ‘The Rock’s cousin’ and ‘The Rock’s cousin’s friend’ to which Dean probably shouts ‘BOYFRIEND’ at them from backstage.
We start off with Kofi vs Roman, which is pretty dull – this all feels very slow for a main event match, even when Dean gets involved, almost like everyone’s just taking it easy because there’s no rush and WrestleMania is just around the corner. Like Vince has gone ‘don’t you dare get injured or Mania will have to be cancelled’. Mostly what we’re focussing on is Paul Heyman talking to commentary about Brock Lesnar and the triple threat match at Fastlane.
Reigns and Ambrose are taking a hell of a beating from the New Day, with them flinging Reigns around like a broken ragdoll for a long while, Ambrose bouncing on the apron like an excited puppy. When he does get tagged in, Dean gets in to take all the punishment, too, and my stream stops, because it’s 4am, and it always stops right on the dot.
When I can find another, Roman is in the ring, looking exhausted as a fresh Big E has just been tagged in, and Kofi comes in to fling Dean out of the ring and into the clutches of Xavier. Roman comes to free his life mate, and gets grabbed by Big E, slammed onto the announce table. Eventually, despite some help from the extra teammates on both sides, Dean gets the pin on Big E for the win.
Just as they’re celebrating, Roman and Dean freeze at the sound of Lesnar’s music, but as he ambles down, the New Day go for them, with Kofi taking Reigns out of the ring, and leaving Dean inside it. The camera turns back to the ring just in time to see Lesnar hit Dean with a huge F5, leaving him panting in the middle of the ring as Lesnar and Heyman walk away. Dean’s just got a taste of what he’s in for at Fastlane, and that’s how we end out a Raw with a lot of very homoerotic subtext. Or maybe I’m just too sick to hide my trashy shipper tendencies. Either way – have a recap on time!