WWE brought its Road to WrestleMania tour into Toronto on Saturday night at Ricoh Coliseum with its Raw roster, bolstered by the presence of Triple H in the main event. Here’s what happened.
A video of Mick Foley aired, welcoming the crowd to the event.
Byron Saxton was the host and ring announcer for the night – and did a pretty good job, though it seemed he was trying to sound like Chris Jericho at times.
1) Golden Truth, and Sin Cara vs Bo Dallas, Jinder Mahal, and the Shining Stars
Mahal offered the faces the chance to forfeit because they were down an opponent (they said he was stuck in traffice), but instead Goldust agreed to a 4-on-3 handicap match. Funny moment when Goldust hit every opponent with reverse atomic drops, then picked up the ref to give him one. His partners stopped him, and then they all gave an opponent one for good measure. The odds eventually caught up to them, and it looked like a sneaky move by Bo would end things. Then the Big Show’s music hit, and he came to the ring. He tagged in, dispatched Jinder, hit the Stars with a double chokeslam, and hit the KO Punch on Bo for the pin.
2) Rich Swann vs. Neville – Cruiserweight Championship Match
This was a fine match. Things picked up near the end, with Swann hitting a nice somersault dive to the floor, and a rolling 450 splash as a follow-up back in the ring. Swann was on the top and when Neville tried to stop him, Swann sent him flying. Neville faked a knee injury, and when Swann backed away, Neville sprung up and hit a superkick for the pin. After the match, Neville hit a Daniel-san crane kick pose. Lots of pro-Neville chants in TO, interestingly.
On the video screen, Charlotte said she’d beat Bayley for the RAW Women’s Championship, and turn Toronto into Flair Country.
Sportsnet Aftermath host Jackie Redmond came out as the special timekeeper for the next match. Funny moment where she announced that her favourite wrestler would be in the next match, which would be a womens’ tag team match, and the kid behind me asked “is it Roman Reigns?”
3) Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox vs Nia Jax and Dana Brooke
This was all about Nia being an unstoppable monster. Neat move at one point where Foxy got thrown into the corner, and avoided a charging Jax by jumping up into the splits on the top rope and into a leaping sunset flip. Didn’t get the pin, but it looked great. In the end, Sasha got the hot tag, she and Fox knocked Jax to the floor with a double dropkick, and Sasha locked Dana into the Banks Statement for the tapout win.
4) Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns
Strong reactions for both men, and you have to wonder if somehow they’re putting these two together so the announce team can say “it sounds like the crowd is saying “Strowman sucks” just to try to fool viewers into thinking that people still like Reigns. This was pretty much a power move exchange. At one point, Braun had Reigns on the floor and was going to drop the rings steps on him, but the ref stopped him. He put them down, only to run into the Drive By. A few Superman Punches didn’t put Braun down for three. But it sent him back to the floor where he used them when Reigns went for a Spear, earning himself a disqualification. After the match, Braun rolled Reigns into the ring to try again with the steps, but Reigns did get him with a Spear which rocked the big man and sent him packing. After the match, Reigns went around and fist-bumped the fans, even stopping to sign some autographs and pose for selfies. Say what you want, but the guy knows how to treat his fans.
A WrestleMania video aired – we’re only three weeks away.
5) Four Corners Match for the RAW Tag Team Championship. New Day vs Enzo & Cass vs Sheamus & Cesaro vs Gallows & Anderson
A busy affair that saw everyone get in their trademark moves, with Cesaro in particular looking good. In the end, nearly everyone was on the floor, and Kofi did a huge dive onto the lot of them assisted by Big E. This allowed Anderson to sneak up from behind and use the tights to roll him up for the win. After the match, Anderson took a 30-count Cesaro Spin, then got slingshotted into a Brogue Kick. Afterwards, the New Day and Enzo & Cass danced and ultimately they, Cesaro, and the WWE Universe shamed a reluctant Sheamus to dance as well.
6) Charlotte vs Bayley – WWE Women’s Championship Match
A pretty basic match. Charlotte worked the leg, then locked in a Figure Four but released it. She tried for another, but as she was setting it up, Bayley shove-kicked her to the floor. Charlotte ran back in the ring, directly into a Bayley-to-Belly for the pin. Pretty sudden ending.
7) Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Triple H vs Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Chris Jericho
The main event was a fun one, with cheers for everyone’s entrances, and the crowd having to choose to support during the match depending on who else was in at the time. Early on, HHH looked like he was going to share a Kliq/Bullet-Club salute with Finn, but broke out a vintage DX crotch chop instead. After a lengthy beatdown of Sami, Owens got caught after paying too much attention to Jericho on the apron, and the action hit fever pitch — especially when Y2J and KO started brawling it out in the centre of the ring. The ending sequence saw a series of finishing moves being hit, ending with Jericho delivering a Code Breaker onto his nemesis Owens for the pin. After the match, the babyfaces celebrated, and Jericho put the entire crowd on The List.