For a start, WWE RAW had sweet new graphics tonight. We liked the retouch. Alright WWE designers, next project: Matt Hardy’s boring titantron.
Are You Ready?
WWE RAW started off with an all-women in-ring promo segment, and it was great, not just because it was a refreshing change. Stephanie McMahon, for once, did not make anyone feel worthless. She really put over Asuka, and she seemed genuine. Even when Sasha Banks came and interrupted her, Steph did not go on her usual rant. Stephanie McMahon made two more great decisions tonight. She casually announced the first-ever Women’s Elimination Chamber Match halfway through a sentence, and she set up Asuka vs Sasha Banks for the tonight. Normally, we would not be too happy to see a match of this caliber being on a RAW show, but this was not just any normal RAW show. This was the post-Rumble RAW, coming right off the back of a surprisingly good first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble from last night.
Asuka really knew how to channel intensity through her words. Knowing herself that she was limited in speaking English, she started by cutting a Japanese promo. By bypassing the language barrier, she could talk freely, expressing herself better (The crowd did the “WHAT?” chant during this part – screw them). Only afterwards did she translate her own monologue into English, which was fair, since, you know, not everyone knows Japanese.
It had been a long while since we saw Sasha Banks this fierce as a face. Or was she? During that segment, we saw glimpses of the old Banks, the Boss that snatched the headband from a Bayley superfan, leaving the little girl crying. That is the Banks we prefer. Is it possible that Sasha will turn heel in the following weeks (or even hours)?
Are you ready for Asuka? Are you ready for heel Sasha to return? Are you ready for the first-ever Women’s Elimination Chamber? You better be, because we definitely are.
“That’s a Human Being.”
All of us collectively did a massive face-palm when Corey Graves said this about Kane, who was crushed underneath the announcer table AND the supporting platform, both of which was flipped over by, well, you guessed it, BRAAAAUN Strowman. Anyways, back to Kane for a bit. That one sentence had ruined 22 years of gimmick building. An entire legacy. From the menacing demon that ripped open the door of Hell in a Cell to a crumpling heap, just “a human being”. Well done, Corey. Now what can we believe in anymore? Is WWE one big fat lie all this time?
As for the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman arguably caused more damage tonight than he did yesterday, completely dominating The Human Being Kane throughout their Last Man Standing Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match. One stage part flipped over later, and one of the pods in the Chamber may need some special modifications.
A very violent first match on the red brand. Fitting, since the name of the show is literally RAW written in all capitals. But poor the commentators. Now they had to stand for the remainder of the show. Rough first day for Jonathan Coachman, eh?