RAW starts off with the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award situated in the ring, but before the award ceremony, Michael Cole would bring everyone up to speed on an incident that took place in the parking lot earlier in the day. Footage is then shown of Dean Ambrose arriving in the arena for RAW when “The Lunatic Fringe” is ambushed by Brock Lesnar! “The Beast” pummels Ambrose before lifting Ambrose up and slamming him back-first onto the hood of a nearby limousine before Lesnar picks “The Lunatic Fringe” again, this time slamming Ambrose into the windshield of the limousine! After “The Beast” leaves the scene, medical personnel tend to Dean Ambrose before loading “The Lunatic Fringe” into a waiting ambulance to be taken to a local hospital.
Then it was time for the presentation of the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award as WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon would make his way to the ring to present the award named after his father, Vincent J. McMahon. The Chairman vows that tonight will be a night that no one will “ever forget” because, tonight, they are presenting the first Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award. McMahon then says that his family has been presenting sports-entertainment for “over 100 years”, saying that his grandfather started promoting wrestling in 1914 and his father, Vincent J. McMahon, promoted the Northeast territories and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1984.
The Chairman continues, saying that what they are talking about is “legacy”, saying that his father was a very “generous” person and the man they honor tonight is someone who has those qualities, a person with a “great business acumen” and a “warm, good-hearted soul”. McMahon then reveals that the recipient of the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award, introducing his own daughter, WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie McMahon then makes her way to the ring, hugging her father before Mr. McMahon says that he is so proud of Stephanie, saying that she was “born into this business” and possess all the attributes of his father. The Chairman continues, saying Stephanie is a “wonderful human being” and congratulating his daughter. Nearly drowned out by “boos” from the crowd, Stephanie says that winning the award was so “unexpected” before saying that she prepared a statement just in case she did win the award. Before reading her statement, Stephanie acknowledges her husband, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, saying that, as they speak, Triple H is preparing to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
Stephanie then opens her folder to read her statement, but as soon as she does, “Here Comes The Money” blares throughout the arena, signifying the return of the one and only Shane McMahon! The Chairman’s son and Stephanie’s brother then dances out onto the stage for the first time in several years as “Shane-O-Mac” makes his way to the ring to confront his shocked father and sister to a huge reaction from the crowd, who chant “Shane McMahon” and “This Is Awesome” in response to the prodigal son’s return.
Mr. McMahon steps forward to try and hug his son, but Shane McMahon stops his father and even refuses a handshake from the Chairman. Shane then addresses the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award, saying that it’s the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and that’s why he came back. Shane then says that the award is a “phenomenal idea” and it should be bestowed upon a “worthy recipient” and that recipient is not Stephanie! Mr. McMahon suggests that they continue their conversation in the back, but Shane says that the Chairman had the chance to do that days ago. Shane then says that, ever since he was a kid, the Chairman has told him that he has to “man up” and do it face-to-face in the middle of the ring, so that’s what they’re doing tonight. Stephanie then interjects, saying that this is her “moment” and that award is her “legacy”. Shane argues that Stephanie hasn’t “earned” the award and Stephanie is quick to fire back that Shane hasn’t even been around for the past six or seven years. Stephanie then says that it’s really easy for Shane to just sit at home and watch on TV, thinking that he knows what to do, saying that her and her husband have been busy running a billion dollar business whether the fans appreciate it or not.
Before addressing his sister’s comments, Shane McMahon says to his father, “she doesn’t know, does she?” and a cold stare from the Chairman confirms Shane’s suspicions. Shane then tells Stephanie that her and her husband, Triple H, have been running WWE “into the ground”, bringing up the “stock” of the company, the “ratings”, and the “plethora of talent injuries”, saying that all of that has been happening under Stephanie and Triple H’s watch. Stephanie responds by saying that Shane knows nothing about running a business, saying Shane is nothing but a “quitter” before ordering her brother to get out of her ring.
Shane first corrects his sister, saying that the ring belongs to their father before asking his father if he wants to tell Stephanie or if he should. The Chairman again tries to keep whatever it is private, saying that now is not “the time or the place”, but Shane disagrees, saying that they don’t need to get into all the details, but now is the time and the place. Stephanie then urges to get whatever it is out in the open before Shane explains the situation. Shane says that, several years ago, their father “messed up big time” and he was there to “save the day”. Shane continues, saying that he and Vince cut themselves a “little deal” and, as part of that deal, he was allowed to take some time off from WWE and build some businesses and basically do what he wanted to do in life before saying that one thing is for sure, “I never lost my place in line”!
Stephanie then claims that nothing happens on the business side of WWE that she doesn’t know about before Shane says that it’s a tough spot for his sister to be in. Shane then says that the reason that Stephanie has been able to climb so far is because he “allowed it to happen”. Stephanie scoffs at what Shane has to say before asking her father to tell her that it’s not true. However, Vince tells Stephanie to let him have a word alone with Shane before Stephanie tells her brother that they have WrestleMania coming up, saying that, if Shane decides to show up this year, then maybe she will get him a ticket, sarcastically saying that she will do her best. Vince then again urges to have a private conversation with Shane, but Stephanie presses her father for the truth. The Chairman continues to try and avoid answering his daughter, but both Shane and Stephanie continue to push their father for the truth and Vince admits that there is “some truth” to it. However, Shane gleefully tells Stephanie that it is “all true”, throwing Stephanie’s own words in her face by saying that it was “best for business”. A seething Stephanie then exits the ring, but not before telling Shane that she will “never forgive” him for this.
With Stephanie out of the ring, Mr. McMahon tells Shane that he will write him a check, saying that, if Shane wants money, he’ll give him any amount of money he wants. However, Shane says that it’s not about money and it was “never about money”, saying that he left a lot of guaranteed money on the table just to get out from under his father and he is not “beholden” to Vince anymore and he has “freedom”. Shane says that this is about “legacy”, saying that Vince is third-generation and he is the fourth-generation and his three sons are the fifth-generation. Shane continues, saying that he wants WWE to be around for generations to come and, the way things are going, it’s not heading that way. Vince then urges Shane to name his terms, saying that, if Shane doesn’t want money, then what does he want. Shane then drops a bombshell, saying that he wants control of Monday Night RAW! The crowd erupts in “yes” chants before Vince laughs at Shane, saying that RAW is the centerpiece of WWE and, where RAW goes, the entire company goes and, if Shane was in control of RAW, he would be controlling the entire company. The Chairman says that “things have changed” and Shane just can’t come back and pick up where he left off.
Shane says that it is true that “things have changed”, but not for the better before Vince says that Shane came out there to “embarrass” him and embarrass Stephanie. The Chairman then says that the fans have “no idea” what they are asking for before Vince offers his son a deal. Vince says that he will give Shane what he wants as long as Shane has “one match, one night” and, if Shane wins his match, then he gets control of RAW, but if Shane loses, then he gives his father the “key to the lockbox” and he wants everything out of it and in his possession so that Shane will never have anything to hold over him ever again. Vince then says that it will be one match on one night against an opponent of his choosing, saying he will tell Shane “when and where and who”, asking Shane if they have a deal. Shane then thinks it over before solidifying the deal with a handshake! Vince then says that it’s just “one last beating” and Shane says that he remembers those beatings “vividly”, telling Vince “you’re on”.
The Chairman then says that Shane’s opponent is going to be about as big as Shane’s “ego” before saying that Shane’s match will take place at WrestleMania and Shane’s opponent will be the most successful WrestleMania competitor in WWE history as, on April 3 in Dallas, Shane McMahon will go one-on-one with The Undertaker! As if that was not monumental enough, Vince adds that Shane will face “The Phenom” inside Hell in a Cell! Vince then sarcastically says “welcome back Shane” before exiting the ring with a big smile on his face, having put his son on a one-way trip to hell against “The Deadman” with control of WWE on the line on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”!
The opening match of the night would see United States Champion Kalisto team with his Lucha Dragons tag team partner Sin Cara and “The Man That Gravity Forgot” Neville to face WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day in a 6-Man Tag match. In the end, Neville & The Lucha Dragons appeared to have the match well-in-hand but Kofi Kingston would grab the mask of Sin Cara, disorientating Sin Cara long enough to hit Trouble in Paradise, pinning Sin Cara to pick up the win for The New Day.
After assaulting Dean Ambrose in the parking lot earlier in the day, “The Beast” was on RAW as Brock Lesnar would make his way to the ring with his advocate Paul Heyman by his side. Heyman says that any segment that involves Brock Lesnar is the “main event”, saying that Brock is the biggest “box office draw” in WWE before saying that, at Fastlane, Lesnar took both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to “Suplex City”. Heyman continues, saying that Lesnar had the Kimura Lock locked in on Roman Reigns and, had it not been for Dean Ambrose, Reigns would have tapped out.
Heyman then says that Ambrose took a “competitive Triple Threat wrestling match” and turned it into a “no holds barred street fight”, taking Brock out of the equation for the main event of WrestleMania. Heyman then says that Ambrose even took himself out of the equation because he’s so “out of his mind” that Ambrose wasn’t even paying attention to what else was going on in the ring. Heyman continues, saying that Brock got his revenge earlier in the day when he took Dean Ambrose out of WrestleMania completely. After replaying the footage of the attack on Dean Ambrose, Heyman says that there is “no shield” to protect Dean Ambrose from Brock Lesnar and Brock not only “deserves” to be in the main event, he is the “main event”.
Heyman continues, saying that Brock Lesnar “needs” a new WrestleMania opponent, advising any potential opponent to visit Dean Ambrose in the hospital and see what happens when they “earn the wrath” with “The Beast”. Heyman then says that an “F-5” is about to tear through the entire locker room all the way to WrestleMania and that path of destruction will have “no mercy” on any soul that comes up against Brock Lesnar. Before Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman can exit the ring, the sound of a horn honking and an ambulance’s siren is heard as the ambulance that took Dean Ambrose away earlier in the day drives right into the arena with “The Lunatic Fringe” behind the wheel as Ambrose rips off his neck brace and stumbles his way down to ringside, laying in front of “The Beast”, but Brock just steps on the head of Ambrose before he and Heyman continue their walk to the back.
However, Dean Ambrose calls out to Brock Lesnar, saying that he is “indestructible” and he wants to fight Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania in a Street Fight! This brings “The Beast” back to ringside as Brock picks up the already broken body of Dean Ambrose, planting “The Lunatic Fringe” on the arena floor with the F-5! Heyman then gets down on Ambrose’s level and tells Ambrose that Brock Lesnar accepts Ambrose’s challenge for WrestleMania! This brings a demented smile to the face of Dean Ambrose as “The Lunatic Fringe” gets his Street Fight against “The Beast” at WrestleMania.
After being out of action the last couple of weeks after being put through tables by The Dudley Boyz, The Usos would return to action on RAW as the 2015 Tag Team of the Year would face The Ascension. However, just as the match is about to begin, The Dudley Boyz come out to the stage with Bubba Ray telling The Usos to not take it personally, they just needed to remind everyone that they are not a “nostalgia act”, they are the “most decorated tag team in WWE history” and their legacy will not be defined by a “piece of furniture” and that is why they will never see them use a table again. D-Von then says that if The Usos’ father, Rikishi, wasn’t too busy buying “thongs”, then maybe he could have taught The Usos about “respect”.
The Ascension then blindsides The Usos before the match gets underway with The Dudley Boyz watching from the stage. In the end, it was Jey Uso coming off of the top rope with the Uso Splash, pinning Viktor to pick up the win for The Usos. After the match, The Dudley Boyz would make their way towards the ring, but Bubba Ray & D-Von would decide not to fight The Usos, backing away from the ring.
Following his loss to AJ Styles in their rematch at Fastlane, “Y2J” Chris Jericho would make an appearance on RAW. Jericho says that, for years, he heard of this guy by the name of AJ Styles who was tearing up the independent scene and, when Styles arrived in WWE, he instantly disliked “The Phenomenal One”. Jericho continues, saying that he had three matches with AJ Styles and he would call their match at Fastlane “phenomenal”. Jericho then says he’s had some time to think about his loss to AJ Styles and he’s got some things to say, but he wants to say them to AJ’s face, calling Styles out. AJ Styles then makes his way to the ring to confront Chris Jericho as Jericho says “congratulations” to AJ Styles, saying that Styles proved that he “belongs” in WWE. Jericho then says that AJ Styles proved to be what he says he is and that is “phenomenal” before Styles and Jericho shake hands.
The moment is then ruined by the arrival of The Social Outcasts as the group mocks the respect between Styles and Jericho before Curtis Axel says that they can see right through Chris Jericho, saying the only reason that Jericho is “playing nice” is because Styles made Jericho tap out. Heath Slater then says that AJ Styles is just going to shake Jericho’s hand after everything “Y2J” said about him before calling Styles a “coward”. Adam Rose then says that no one is “buying” their partnership before Bo Dallas says that Styles & Jericho aren’t a team like they are. Slater then says that Styles & Jericho need to get out of their ring before Jericho says that, if they want Styles & Jericho to be a team, then maybe they’re a team, challenging The Social Outcasts to a match!
The rivals turned tag team would then be in action on RAW as the newly christened “Y2AJ” team of AJ Styles & Chris Jericho would face Social Outcast members Heath Slater & Curtis Axel, with Adam Rose & Bo Dallas in their corner. In the end, it was AJ Styles diving to the outside and taking out Heath Slater, Adam Rose, & Bo Dallas while Chris Jericho locks Curtis Axel in the Walls of Jericho, making Curtis Axel tap out to pick up the win for Y2AJ.
Backstage, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H is consoling his wife, Stephanie McMahon, following her confrontation with Shane McMahon earlier in the night. Triple H tells Stephanie that Shane always has been and always will be a “failure”. Triple H then says that their night might not have started the way they wanted it to, but it will end the way they want it to, asking if Stephanie wants to go tell Roman Reigns or if he should and, with that, Stephanie sets out to find Reigns.
Roman Reigns is then stopped in the backstage area by Stephanie McMahon as Roman was on his way to check on Dean Ambrose. Stephanie then informs Roman that he has a match tonight against Sheamus, saying that she would hate to see The League of Nations injure Roman Reigns and take him out of the main event of WrestleMania.
Following their defeat at the hands of Ryback, Kane, & Big Show at Fastlane, The Wyatt Family was on RAW as Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan, with Braun Strowman in their corner, would face Ryback, Kane, & Big Show in a 6-Man Tag match. During the match, Kane would get tagged into the match and “The Big Red Machine” would dominate the match, but as Kane gets ready to chokeslam Luke Harper, Ryback inexplicably drops off of the ring apron and walks to the back, abandoning his tag partners. Ryback’s desertion would distract Kane as Luke Harper makes the tag to Bray Wyatt as Kane would then chokeslam Harper, but, unaware of the tag that was made, Kane would then be caught by Bray Wyatt, who hits Kane with Sister Abigail, pinning Kane for the win.
Backstage, Ryback is confronted about abandoning Kane & Big Show in the 6-Man Tag match. Ryback explains that he won the match at Fastlane so he has nothing left to prove, saying that he is tired of being in tag teams and he needs to watch out for himself. Ryback then says that the “spotlight” should be on him, saying that he has to stand on his own and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks because that’s the way it’s got to be.
After she and Becky Lynch defeated Naomi & Tamina at Fastlane, “The Boss” was on RAW as Sasha Banks would go one-on-one with Naomi, with Tamina in her corner. Throughout the match, Tamina would repeatedly get involved in the match and this would lead to Becky Lynch coming out to ringside, taking out Tamina and allowing Sasha to lock in the Bank Statement, making Naomi tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Sasha & Becky would greet each other in the ring before Divas Champion Charlotte and her Hall of Fame father Ric Flair come out. Charlotte says that she has been informed by The Authority that there will be a match to see who will have the “honor” of facing her for the Divas Title at WrestleMania and that match will be between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. The Divas Champion then asks which Diva wants it more before pretending like Becky is about to be ambushed, laughing it off before saying that the next several weeks will be fun for her.
After surviving a Triple Threat Match against Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar at Fastlane to cement his spot in the main event of WrestleMania where he will challenge Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Roman Reigns was in action in the main event of RAW as Roman would go one-on-one with “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, with Sheamus’ League of Nations cohorts Rusev, Alberto Del Rio, & King Barrett in his corner. During the match, Roman Reigns would take Sheamus down with a Spear on the outside before rolling back into the ring, but this is when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H would come out to the stage in street clothes with his hands taped up, ready for a fight. The champion would make his way to ringside where he is met by his WrestleMania challenger Roman Reigns as champion and challenger waste no time in starting the fight with both men pummeling each other.
Roman and Triple H would trade blows with Reigns throwing the champion into the barricade, but “The Game” would fight back before sending Reigns into the ring. However, when Triple H gets on the ring apron, he is blasted with a Superman Punch from Reigns, knocking the champion to the floor. Reigns then exits the ring, delivering a clothesline that sends Triple H over the barricade, but when Roman goes to retrieve the champion, Triple H blasts Reigns in the throat with the ring bell! Triple H then repeatedly drives Reigns face-first into the announce table, smashing Roman’s nose in the process.
The champion then pulls the bloody challenger from the announce table, delivering calculated right hands to the busted nose of Reigns. Referees then rush out to break up the fight, trying to keep Triple H back as medical personnel rush in to check on Roman Reigns. However, the champion refuses to let up as Triple H takes apart the steel steps before dragging Reigns over to the bottom half of the stairs and planting Roman’s bloody face into the steel with the Pedigree! With Roman’s blood literally on his hands, Triple H then gives a DX crotch chop to Reigns as the medical team scrambles to try and patch Roman up before “The Game” stands on top of the steel steps, holding the WWE World Heavyweight Title belt high.
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