RAW peaks as Foley stands up for himself and Rollins returns

The feud between Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon provided plenty of entertainment Monday night.

Sometimes WWE does a non-wrestling segment, particularly in the main event, that leaves you wondering why exactly they did it. However, like the main event on Monday, sometimes a segment hits all the right notes and simply leaves you wanting more. 

The end of RAW paid off a Stephanie McMahon ultimatum in which she was going to force Mick Foley to fire someone from the roster. He agonized all night, but when it came down to it, he made his decision. He finally was going to stand up to Stephanie McMahon, as she has become more and more ruthless, and he was going to fire her.

He went into classic Mick Foley mode with the promo, ranting about how much better RAW would be without her in charge. As opposed to some of his more recent promos, this was, excuse the term, vintage Foley.

Well, of course, this wouldn't stand. Stephanie berated Mick, though he had a counter for every line, but what he didn't have a counter for was Triple H showing up and confronting Foley. Triple H, like Foley, seemed to be in rare form, and ran down Foley verbally before ordering him out of the ring.

If that was it, it would have been enough. Two of the greats on the mic going back and forth would be great. But Foley, after starting to leave the ring, stopped and thought better of it. As Triple H came over to berate him more, Foley turned, and Mr. Socko was on his hand!

He locked in the Mandible Claw until Stephanie came over with a low blow. As Triple H attacked Foley more, Seth Rollins made his return, limping out with a crutch. But as he got to the bottom of the ramp, he dropped the crutch, and made a beeline for the ring.

He seemed to get the better of Triple H, including hitting some running attacks, until H grabbed the discarded crutch and used it. He targeted the knee, locked on a reverse figure four, and the show ended with Rollins once again writhing in pain.

If you had told me that we were going to have a segment in which Stephanie and Mick Foley have a verbal battle, Triple H gets physical with Mick, and then Rollins returns and is left lying in the ring, there's no way I would have thought it would work.

But in this case, it worked very well. It was simply some of the top performers in the business reaching back and giving it their all to make something memorable.

Where are they going with it? It's hard to tell. Rollins was able to do some running moves, but he had a hitch to his run and certainly didn't look 100 percent. So maybe this is the way to start to set up a tag match.

As for Foley, you have to think that this ends with him stepping away, either being fired by Stephanie or just stepping away on his own, likely to be replaced by Kurt Angle. But no matter where it goes from here, it accomplished the goal of making people more interested in everyone involved.

I think people were tired of Stephanie/Mick coming in, and while overall they may not like it, they certainly like it more than they did last week. It added another level of intrigue to Rollins/Triple H. So a job well done to end the show and send us towards WrestleMania.

 

The Rest of RAW:

>> Roman Reigns beat Jinder Mahal in a match. Mid-match, Undertaker's gong sounded, but he didn't come out. It caused a brief distraction for Reigns, but he recovered and won. However, after the match, things got interesting. Reigns called out Undertaker, who not come out. Instead, surprisingly, Shawn Michaels came down to the ring. After playing to the crowd, he warned Reigns about challenging Undertaker at WrestleMania. Reigns didn't care about his warnings, and said just like Undertaker retired HBK, he was going to retire Undertaker. It's interesting to note that once again he belittled a WWE legend. Whether this is simply them trying to figure out a way to make him seem like a tough guy, or if it's a legitimate heel turn, we'll have to see. After he walked away from HBK, Braun Strowman blindsided Reigns on the ramp, setting up a match for next week.

>> The women's division continued to get muddled. The primary storyline was Nia Jax complaining she wasn't in the title match at WrestleMania. Stephanie McMahon agreed and gave her a match with Bayley. Nia ended up losing by DQ as she viciously attacked Bayley. She then tossed Bayley around the ring postmatch. Presumably the question will come up as to why Sasha didn't come down to make the save for her “best friend.” Speaking of Sasha, she beat Dana Brooke early in the night. Charlotte berated Dana after the match, and Dana shoved her to the outside, finally sticking up for herself. They're doing so much within the women's division ... and none of it is Bayley looking credible as a champion, which is a problem.

>> We have our RAW tag title match set for Wrestlemania. Enzo and Cass and Sheamus and Cesaro were facing off in a No. 1 contenders match. Of course, The Club did what every heel does in this situation and attacked both teams to cause the no-contest. And of course, Mick Foley did what every face authority figure does in this situation and made it a triple-threat match. Simple paint-by-number booking there, and it works in this case.

>> Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho beat Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe via DQ as Owens and Joe kept double-teaming Sami until the ref called the match. Post-match, Owens and Joe dissected Zayn and Jericho, leaving them both lying. These four have a lot that can be done post-Wrestlemania, especially when you throw in Triple H, Seth Rollins, and the return of Finn Balor.

>> Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came out to start the show, as Heyman gave a pretty typical promo to hype up WrestleMania.

>> Austin Aries beat Ariya Daivari in his first match on RAW. It would be a pretty big stunner at this point if it's not Neville/Aries for the Cruiserweight title at WrestleMania. In other cruiserweight action, Tony Nese and The Brian Kendrick beat TJ Perkins and Akira Tozawa when Nese rolled up Perkins.

>> Big Show beat Titus O'Neil, and also announced that he will be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. So while it seemed clear before, it's now official: no Big Show vs. Shaq.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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