For a second time, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar did not honor a planned face-to-face with his WrestleMania challenger, Roman Reigns. Unlike last time, however, The Big Dog decided to take his grievances straight to the top, and unlike last time, he immediately faced the consequences.
Reigns’ protests to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle over Lesnar’s absence failed to produce a reprimand for The Beast Incarnate, which he said was no surprise, as Lesnar was “Vince’s boy.” As such, and given that The Chairman had “disrespected” Reigns by not informing him of Lesnar’s absence in person, The Big Dog made his way behind the curtain and demanded answers from Mr. McMahon himself.
Their ensuing closed-door meeting was not captured by cameras, though The Chairman was caught coming out of his office and cleared the air on a few matters. For one, Lesnar was “nobody’s boy,” least of all his own. For another, no matter who Lesnar respects or does not, The Beast had indeed been afforded special privileges and could take advantage of them if he chose. Third, even though Lesnar occasionally steps out of line, Mr. McMahon gave his word that the Universal Champion would be at WrestleMania and, more immediately, he would be at Raw next week.
That said, since Reigns had failed to honor his famous cousin's catchphrase of "know your role and shut your mouth," Mr. McMahon found he had suffered the only disrespect of the evening. As a result, The Chairman announced that Reigns would be temporarily suspended for his actions.
John Cena’s “Plan B” to get to WrestleMania failed at WWE Fastlane, so now he’s circling back to “Plan A”: Challenge The Undertaker to a match at The Show of Shows. Well aware that he had fallen short in his recent opportunities and was now hinging his WrestleMania hopes on the longest of long shots, Cena seemingly defied protocol and challenged The Deadman outright — his rationale being that, as he had been told he wasn’t going to compete at WrestleMania and had resigned himself to attending as a fan, he really had nothing to lose if The Phenom turned him down.
Cena went big in his call-out, too, claiming that The Deadman was the only factor stopping the match from happening in the first place. And given that he believed Undertaker’s “ego” was the only thing holding him back, Cena decided to play to it. The 16-time World Champion flat-out asked the WWE Universe if they wanted to see him eat a Tombstone at The Showcase of the Immortals. When the fans responded in the thunderous affirmative, Cena dared The Deadman to try before leaving Raw with a tantalizing offer on the table: “One. More. Match.”
Braun Strowman guaranteed he would administer These Hands at WrestleMania, and it appears his “Path of Destruction” has gone through an entirely unexpected route: The Tag Team division. The Monster Among Men both surfaced as a surprise entrant in the Tag Team Battle Royal that was supposed to determine Cesaro & Sheamus’ WrestleMania challengers, but that was nothing compared to the shocker at the end, when he won the melee by his lonesome.
Granted, Strowman is not a tag team unto himself, and he more or less yelled at the official to ring the bell in the opening confusion, both of which muddled the legality of his participation as well as his victory. Yet, participate he did, and win he did as well, dishing out eliminations and forcing the five competing tag teams to unite in a series of unlikely alliances that culminated with Braun being obliterated outside the ring with the steel steps. Yet, as The Bar looked on in shock from the commentary position, Strowman roared back to last eliminate Karl Anderson with a battle cry of “I’M GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!”
Of course, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle would have to let the result stand first, and there’s no guarantee that will happen. But clearly, one refuses Braun Strowman at one’s own risk.
In other action … Sasha Banks def. Sonya Deville … The Raw Tag Team division attacked Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus … Finn Bálor def. Seth Rollins … The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal is announced for WrestleMania … Asuka def. Mickie James … Nia Jax def. Joan King … and "Woken" Matt Hardy revealed his "Woken family”.