He came; he saw; he destroyed; he signed. Having marked his passage from NXT to Raw by taking out Seth Rollins last week to the tune of a torn MCL, Samoa Joe made it official at the start of this week’s show by signing an official contract to join the Monday night roster (despite Raw General Manager Mick Foley’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction). Joe declared his allegiance to the “one man” who gave him the opportunity to join WWE in the first place. But Roman Reigns wasn’t exactly willing to kiss the ring of Raw’s newest signee, stepping to Joe in a pointed confrontation moments later. Foley, sensing a matchmaking opportunity, capitalized on the tension between the two and sanctioned Joe vs. Reigns for later in the evening.
First thing’s first: Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania? Goldberg accepts. But more pressingly, Kevin Owens is next. Moments after Chris Jericho floated the idea of himself vs. Owens at WrestleMania, Goldberg interrupted to address The Beast’s challenge from last week and, with his eyes still on one more title run, to dare Owens to defend the crimson championship against him at WWE Fastlane. In an odd reversal of fortune from a few weeks ago, it was Jericho who accepted on Owens’ behalf in a fit of rage after Goldberg stole Jericho’s glory and put himself on The List of Jericho. The irony of course is that, with that acceptance, Owens just made Goldberg’s list.
First night on Raw. First time in the ring with Roman Reigns. First victory for Samoa Joe. (And first time a distraction helped him, but we’ll get to that.) Raw’s resident destroyer didn’t change up his winning strategy before mixing it up with The Big Dog, cheap-shotting Reigns before the bell to put him in a hole from which the former WWE Champion struggled to escape the entire match. Reigns, to his credit, slowly chipped away at The Samoan Submission Specialist enough to hit a Samoan Drop and set up for the Spear … and that’s when Braun Strowman came calling.
The Monster Among Men got the attention of his Fastlane opponent good, and it took two Superman Punches from Reigns to turn Strowman away. Joe captalized with an enziguiri to the back of the head and an uranage to seal the match, after which Strowman picked the bones, decimating Reigns with the steel steps and executing the Running Powerslam through the barricade. So Samoa Joe stands tall and Braun Strowman dishes out unmitigated punishment upon Roman Reigns. Those are two firsts, too, but they certainly won’t be the last.
In other action … Nia Jax def. Bayley … Braun Strowman def. four local competitors … Akira Tozawa def. Drew Gulak … Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Cesaro & Sheamus via Disqualification … The New Day def. The Shining Stars … U.S. Champion Chris Jericho def. Sami Zayn … and Jack Gallagher, Cedric Alexander & TJ Perkins def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville, Noam Dar & Tony Nese.