SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MARCH 27, 2017
PHILADELPHIA, PA. AT WELLS FARGO CENTER
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTorch contributor
“Old Dogs. Big Steaks.”
Whether or not you are a fan of the Universal Championship showdown coming in just six days, you must admit this: WWE has done a really good job at telling this story. WrestleMania XX happened and there is no forgetting that it happened, but it is important to remember that both guys were mentally and physically uncommitted at that time. It seems this journey has them firing on opposite cylinders. Since the “squash heard around the world” at Survivor Series, Goldberg finally let his guard down the Raw after Fastlane, eating an F5 from the Beast (and selling it pretty well.) Tonight in Philly, these two will have one last encounter, one last ditch effort to convince us that this is the main event we’ve always wanted. At this point, I’m going to sit back and hope for the best.
“A contract covered in blood.”
No doctor wants to clear Seth Rollins to compete against Triple H at Mania. (Maybe Seth finally knows how Daniel Bryan feels.) Two weeks ago the Architect and The Game finally got physical and it was just as Glorious (Roode approved) as one could hope it would be. Hunter may be in dad-mode with NXT, but he’s also looking ready for one last run as the head of a Samoa Joe and KO faction. (Please GOD LET THAT HAPPEN.) He offered Seth a solution: An unsanctioned street fight. Will Seth sign the contract tonight? I can’t predict the future, but let’s just say this is the segment I’m most looking forward to.
“Two friends, one enemy, and a monster.”
Bayley is still champion, but for how long? The odds have consistently been stacked against The Hugger but through Shenanigans she has come out on top. That’s not really a very babyface-esque trait. The reason Bayley’s rise to the in NXT worked so well was because she overcame her underdog status and had a really great run defending her title. She’ll still have a chance to do that on Sunday but tonight let’s cross our fingers for some hot fire from the champ. As for her opponents their story tells itself: Charlotte’s beaten Sasha, Sasha’s beaten Charlotte. Nia’s beaten Sasha, Sasha’s beaten Nia. Everyone has beaten everyone. The Fatal four-way will be great, I have no doubts, but Asuka really needs to save this division.
“The roar of a bow. AN ELBOW.”
If there is one match that could most certainly sneak in and steal the show at the Show of Shows, it’s the Cruiserweight one. When Neville returned at Roadblock, it sparked new life into the division. When Austin Aries finally stepped up and laid him out, it made sparked even more fan-fare. These two are great, and are everything that is great about wrestling in this era.
Chris Jericho has been the most over superstar on the Red Brand for a while. (This is nothing new since he’s one of the G.O.A.T.) His list of accomplishments (including THE LIST OF Y2J) in the past year is as impressive as anything you’ll see: He defeated A.J. Styles at last year’s Mania in Dallas. He’s finally captured the United States Championship, and he forged a friendship with a fellow White Northerner who he helped on a regular basis defend the Universal Title. Since KO betrayed him; Y2J has reversed all that heel momentum straight into being one of the top babyfaces. However, Kevin Owens continues to pound Jericho within an inch of his life. This is more than just a match between two former close mates. This is a fight, a bloodbath. If Y2J intends to make it for another Fozzy tour, he’ll need to show some fire on Raw tonight.
“All you need is…”
-The New Day keep reminding us that they’re going to be great hosts in Orlando. In fact, if we could skip the Andre the Giant Battle royal and just have BIG E lick things, I’d totally be okay with that.
-Triple-Threat match between members of each tag team that is involved in the title match Sunday. The Club has been putting on hurting on everyone, so revenge could be in store for the Europeans and the Realest Guys.
-Charlotte beat Dana Brooke last week. It wasn’t a retirement match, unfortunately.
-Sami Zayn lost his mentor last week. In fact, we all did. Mick hadn’t been the best at his job, but even after all the torment he put his brain and his body through, it’s hard not to smile when he’s on screen. Stephanie will need to replace the G.M. position, and there’s a certain individual who would be just ACES for the job. It’s true… It’s true.
-Speaking of Sami, he and The Destroyer and Braun currently don’t have plans for Mania. Andre Battle Royal? YEESH.
-The Roman Empire speared the Deadman right out of his shoes last week. Will Taker return in the city of Brotherly Love to return the favor? (In reality I’m hoping he’s just resting his body and preparing for his lost match. LAST MATCH. SERIOUSLY MARK, I LOVE YOU AND HAVE LOVED YOU FOR SO LONG BUT HANG EM-UP BIG GUY.)
Go-Home show. If the Raw keeps up with the formula they’ve used for the past two weeks, then we should be in for a barn-burner.