1) Leave of Absence (Just Kidding, You're Fired) – After reading from some index cards that were apparently handed to him right before the show went live, Mick Foley read a prepared statement of his seemingly temporary exit from the show. Foley then decided to go on a rampage sans index cards ("I'm Mick 'frickin' Foley!"), but unfortunately someone in the back started playing with his microphone, cutting the rant short. Enter Stephanie McMahon, who crushed Foley, outright fired him from his job, and told him to get the hell out of her ring, pretty standard stuff from her. Out came Sami Zayn, who tried to talk some sense into Stephanie, and it fell on deaf ears, because, he's not on her level. Fully expected Stephanie to fire Sami right there, instead, she booked a match against Samoa Joe, who strolled to the ring moments before.
Overall, Foley's run as GM was not the greatest, but these last couple weeks I very much enjoyed what he brought to the show, as his confidence and calm demeanor completely broke down. I'm interested to see if Foley will be replaced by someone else or if he'll get some kind of comeback story down the road. Side-note, the "CM Punk" chants are still very lame.
WWE (@WWE) March 21, 2017
2) The H's of Three – After Foley went down memory road with Zayn, Cesaro/Sheamus, the purple rope guys, and Bayley, it was Triple H who said goodbye last. Actually, after standing in the corner all weird-like, he simply said "Have a nice day!" and headed off to listen to some Motörhead, probably. I'm not exactly a huge Foley fan, but Triple H got me in that moment with that jerk move, I don't care what that random Doctor said, hope Seth Rollins crushes "The Game" in their "Hold Harmless Unsanctioned Blue Jeans Only Scuffle" at WrestleMania.
3) Highly Illogical – So, the match between Nia Jax and Bayley was "No DQ" and that led to the possibility of Charlotte and/or Sasha Banks coming out to the ring to help keep away the strongest women in the division. Nope, forget that, both of them just stood and watched the TV as Bayley was thoroughly destroyed and lost the match. They could have had one of them run down and at least attempt to keep Nia from winning, just lazy booking to get Jax into the WrestleMania match.
4) Yard Sale – In the main event we got to see a rematch between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, it was fairly even until the end when it looked like Reigns was going to, yet again, put down the monster. "Gong" hits, arena goes dark, and there The Undertaker stood for an awkwardly long time before chokeslamming...Braun Strowman? Maybe WWE is looking to set something up down the road, but in the short term it was not very beneficial to Braun, who truly has looked the worst in this feud (lost to Reigns, backed down from Taker, chokeslammed by Taker) that he's not really even in. I did enjoy the pained look on Undertaker's face once he realized he left himself wide open to a spear from "The Guy." Ending felt a bit stale, I was thinking more about what WWE is going to do with Strowman (hopefully interfering at WrestleMania and not winning the Andre Battle Royal) than whatever was going on between Taker and Reigns.
Sami Zayn – Since I've started doing these reviews, which was basically at the beginning of the year, Zayn has continued to be one of (if not the) most consistent performers on Raw. Even when he doesn't win, Zayn has brought meaning to the segments he's in, including this week when he tried to stick up for Mick, then went straight into a match against Samoa Joe, where he initially got destroyed, came back, and then got choked out. These two have already met up a number of times, but their match on Raw was a great follow-up to the opening segment. He is the ultimate babyface, who can get fans to completely go nuts for him over any monster that is put in front of him. Whether it's Strowman, Joe, or facing Seth Rollins for a spot in the Royal Rumble, Zayn has been upper mid-card gold for the red brand.
Brian Kendrick – Technically, I could give this to TJ Perkins, who lost in amazingly quick fashion this week, but that post-match promo by Kendrick was something awful. Not only did he mess up Akira Tozawa's name, but the whole passport thing fell completely dead in front of a crowd that had been quite good up until this point. Also, pretty sure Kendrick is committing a fairly serious crime by taking Tozawa's passport. Anyways, the main problem is the Cruiserweights just can't find consistency on Raw, sometimes their segments are white hot and other times they are the worst segments of the night.
Gallows and Anderson – Wow, the dumbness continues with these two. Why attack your partners and not attempt to take out Cesaro/Sheamus, so the chances of retaining their titles go up WrestleMania? It fit the theme of Sheamus and Cesaro paying for their relationship with Foley, but the way the match went was painful and worthless.
This Week's MVP
Chris Jericho – It's really amazing how good he is with live crowds. The man can make them do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He has turned his best friend of Kevin Owens into all the fans in the crowd, which they will obviously all go nuts for, it's genius. Jericho then cut an incredibly amazing promo, bringing in some delicious real life elements of Kevin Owens' past including that old picture of him wearing a Y2J shirt and apparently, some DMs of Owens contacting Jericho, when he was first signed by the WWE. It felt like Jericho really got the best of Owens in this exchange, until Joe showed up, allowing KO to sneak attack from behind to put Jericho down. It didn't stop there though as Owens then destroyed and ate (yes, ate!) the "List of Jericho." I didn't think it was possible to top their friendship story, but they are even better enemies!
Smart move keeping New Day backstage, easier to work crowd volume, overall the chants about the video/photo leaks weren't too much of a problem though. Triple H talked so long my "Little Millennial" mind lost interest, still can't wait for Rollins to get him though. Can't get into Brock vs. Goldberg, I'm probably in the minority with that though, maybe? Show started hot with a solid theme that ran throughout with Foley's firing and his supporters feeling the wrath of Stephanie and Triple H. The few moments that were bad, were incredibly bad (Gallows/Anderson, Kendrick's promo, Sasha/Charlotte not helping Bayley, Braun's decline), overall I enjoyed what WWE did this week. One more show until the big dance, then we can get some fresh faces and possibly a draft to shake things up a bit.
Grade (out of 10): 7 (Last Week: 6)