After overcoming the demonic Kane in Raw’s main event, using some moves from The Undertaker’s arsenal in the process, John Cena once again lashed out at The Deadman for failing to respond to The Cenation Leader’s WrestleMania challenge. Has The Phenom resigned himself to an eternal slumber, leaving Cena without an opponent at The Show of Shows?
For weeks, Roman Reigns has disparaged Universal Champion Brock Lesnar for not showing up to Raw when he was supposed to. Last week, Reigns received a beating for his troubles, and now just two weeks from WrestleMania, The Beast returned under a cloud of irony: Despite the lifting of his temporary suspension, Reigns was the one who was seemingly nowhere to be found.
That led to some savage gloating from Paul Heyman, who called Reigns’ manhood into question for failing to live up to his family’s fighting legacy. To Heyman’s surprise, however, Reigns appeared in the crowd, steel chair in hand and ready to throw down. Lesnar obliged, and while The Big Dog connected a few times with the chair, he was still too weakened from last week to put up much of a fight beyond that. Lesnar snatched Reigns out of the air when he attempted a Superman Punch off the steps and easily overpowered him, thanks in no small part to his use of the steel steps as an equalizer. After another series of hellacious chair swings to Reigns’ back, The Beast was seemingly done, though he returned for one final statement at the expense of his challenger: An F-5 atop the steel steps.
Ronda Rousey’s WrestleMania debut is a dream come true for The Baddest Woman on the Planet, but Triple H & Stephanie McMahon are already predicting that conflicting motives and rampant egos will lead to disaster for Rousey and her WrestleMania partner, Kurt Angle.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet seemed entirely unmoved by Stephanie, who she referred to as “trust-fund tough” after Angle invited her to the ring later in the night. She was a bit more polite in refuting Paige’s offer to recruit her into Absolution, who Paige believed could back her up better than Angle.
When Paige attempted to sic her cohorts on “Rowdy” Ronda in response, however, all civility went out the window. Sonya Deville was swiftly dispatched, and Mandy Rose’s attempt at a sneak-attack nearly landed her in an armbar until Angle talked his partner down. There may be no such restraint at WrestleMania.
With each passing week that The Undertaker fails to respond to John Cena’s WrestleMania challenge, The Cenation Leader’s attempts to goad The Deadman out of the void have flown dangerously close to blasphemy. That led Kane to defend his brother’s honor, but even as Cena occupied himself with The Devil’s Favorite Demon in a No Disqualification victory, he made it abundantly clear who he was fighting in his head.
Not only did Cena sit bolt upright in the style of The Phenom after Kane busied himself with exposing the turnbuckle, he landed a vicious Chokeslam on The Big Red Machine. After his victory — via a savage Attitude Adjustment through a table — the 16-time World Champion expressed open shock that The Demon of Death Valley hadn’t made his presence known at any point during a No Disqualification Match.
Once again stoking the WWE Universe’s love of The Undertaker into “Do Something” chants, Cena implored The Deadman more forcefully than ever to deliver a response of any kind. Silence, he said, was an insult to himself, Kane and everyone who ever believed in The Undertaker.
“I hope for the sake of all that is good inside this ring I see you next week,” Cena said before he left. As one final jab to The Deadman, he unleashed one more mimic, performing Undertaker’s signature throat-slash motion straight into the camera as Raw went off the air. It was a striking note to end on, but as the clock continues to tick, The Deadman’s deafening silence may be all the response he’s going to get.
In other action … Nia Jax def. Mickie James … Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak & TJP … Intercontinental Champion The Miz confronted The Miztourage on "Miz TV" …
Asuka def. Jamie Frost … "Woken" Matt Hardy declared for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal … Sasha Banks confronted Bayley … Braun Strowman def. Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus … Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. The Miztourage … and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. The Miztourage.