The Stakes Are Raised For Becky Lynch
The go-home show of RAW before the Elimination Chamber began with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring, running down the card. The focus soon shifts to Becky Lynch and we are informed that Lynch finally saw the doctors and her match with Rousey is back on provided she can apologize to Stephanie.
Lynch obviously did not take it too well and got into a verbal confrontation with Stephanie. Triple H intervened and told Lynch that she has to make a choice by end of the show.
Our Take From It: First of all, credit has to be given to Triple H and Stephanie for being willing to put over a talent. Also, the whole Lynch being suspended ordeal was a farce.
The reaction from the crowd was amazing and is all the more reason why Lynch and Rousey should have a one on one match. While most of what transpired here was predictable, it was fun nonetheless and was a great start to the show.
Loser Gets To Go First (Boss n’ Hug Connection vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. Riott Squad)
The match started with Sasha Banks and Nia Jax and soon the others tagged in at different points of the match. The safest place to be in a match like this is on the apron and the Boss n’ Hug Connection tried to use this to their advantage by trying to avoid being tagged in.
It did not work long though as Banks got attacked during the break and once again Bayley was left to fight all alone. She managed to rally for sometime but eventually ended up coming short and lost out to Jax’s Samoan Drop.
Losers and first to enter the Elimination Chamber: Boss n’ Hug Connection
Our Take From It: This was actually quite a good tag match and the obvious advantage for the team not in the ring wasn’t ignored by WWE but skillfully incorporated in the match. We don’t know where WWE is going with the whole Banks getting taken out and leaving Bayley alone angle but we are not ready for another single’s feud between the two.
Instead, WWE should put the tag titles on them as they can really shine and provide value to the title during its inaugural run. This match was pretty good and sets up the Elimination Chamber match for the women’s tag title match quite nicely.
Kalisto Is A Guitarist Too
WWE was back to the classic Elias trope of him being interrupted by someone whenever he tried to perform. This time it was a couple of video packages followed by Lucha House Party. Elias went on to berate the local crowd and got a triple thumbs-down from the Luchadors.
Elias asked Kalisto to play something and he actually played the guitar quite well but Elias still ended up smashing him with the guitar.
Our Take From It: It still feels somewhat hypocritical that WWE changed Elias into a heel without any explanation but he is just so adaptable that he somehow is making it work.
Kalisto’s guitar playing abilities were a huge surprise though and added that extra bit of fun to this segment. It is still too early to predict where all this is leading to but for now it is fun and entertaining.
Awesome 3-on-3 Action (Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, and Drew McIntyre)
This part of the show started with Finn Balor taking on Drew McIntyre. The match was short and quite fast paced. Balor was able to almost pick up the victory but Bobby Lashley caused a disqualification.
Post-match, Balor got beaten up by the heels prompting Kurt Angle to come make the save. Baron Corbin then came out and started attacking Angle which caused Braun Strowman to come to aid. This lead to a tag match between the six of them.
Some back and forth action took place with Balor eventually getting pinned but the match was restarted as Balor’s foot was on the ropes. The restarted match saw Balor putting on another great fight before Strowman literally pummeling the heels leaving victory to be just a formality.
Winners: Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and Braun Strowman
Our Take From It: The biggest plus point of this match is that it gives some really great talent who were being wasted, to put on something interesting and worthwhile.
Balor is clearly being set up to become on of the most prominent faces of the company and that is great. The other men in this feud can also benefit greatly. The match was entertaining and perfectly sets up the individual as well as the collective feuds among these men.
Ruby Riott picks Up A Straight Forward Win Over Nikki Cross
A pretty standard match between two women who have little going for them except for the fact that Ruby Riott has a championship match against Ronda Rousey this weekend.
It included a little bit of back and forth but it was mostly mundane stuff with a backstage segment involving Ronda Rousey being the highlight. Ruby Riott won with the help of a Riott kick.
Winner: Ruby Riott
Our Take From It: This was the first downer of the night. The only reason WWE probably put up this match was to have the Rousey segment. There is nothing wrong with the two women involved here. Just that there is no coherent storytelling to make it any interesting.
Another No-Show From Brock Lesnar
Seth Rollins started with a bit of modest bragging followed by shifting focus on to his encounters with Lesnar. That prompted Paul Heyman to come out and introduce Lesnar only for him to not show up.
What followed was pretty standard as Heyman listed the ways Lesnar will beat Rollins while Rollins dropped the spoiler that he will walk out of WrestleMania as the Universal Champion no matter what it takes.
Ambrose then came out for his match and before the match started, he asked Rollins to slay the beast.
Our Take From It: After the Lynch-Rousey pairing, this is the match that is expected to tear the house down at WrestleMania. It is still almost unforgivable that the biggest champion on RAW does not make an appearance before an important PPV.
However, if Rollins walks out of WrestleMania as the champion then this would have all been worth it. As far as this segment was concerned, Heyman and Rollins know how to put on a show and the Ambrose goading at the end was a nice touch.
Dean Ambrose Gets The Better Of EC3 While Bliss Tries Her Mindgames On Lynch
The match between Dean Ambrose and EC3 was a short affair and Dean got the win after somewhat tricking EC3 to dive shoulder first into the post.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Meanwhile Lynch was getting advice from multiple superstars backstage and Alexa Bliss asked her not to apologize as that would make her look weak.
Lynch rightly called out Bliss’ weak attempt to take Lynch’s spot at WrestleMania. Bliss called Lynch a sellout and Lynch replied that WrestleMania will be the only thing that will be sold out.
Our Take From It: Dean’s match with EC3 was a short one designed to set up a feud between the two probably as a way of Dean putting over EC3 on his way out. Nothing groundbreaking but decent.
Bliss and Lynch going at it was quite fun and the prospect of these two women feuding someday is great for wrestling fans.
The Revival Are The New RAW Tag Team Champions
This was a great tag team match that had everything from excitement to great storytelling. A few hiptosses and suplexes followed by a few close calls and hot tags and it seemed like it was going to be a routine tag match but The Revival pulled off an upset by hitting Gable with an awesome Shatter Machine mid-air to pick up the win.
Winners and the new RAW Tag Team Champions: The Revival
Our Take From It: As great as the tag match, there is no denying the fact that allowing titles to change hands before they have been barely defended diminishes the value of the said title considerably.
The same thing happened to the US title and now WWE is treating the RAW tag titles in the same way. The fact that Revival are the tag champions could be great for the entire division but this was definitely not the way to go about it. The match was great but the premise was totally wrong.
Vince McMahon Replaces Lynch With Charlotte Flair For WrestleMania
Triple H and Stephanie were in the ring and after deliberating a bit Lynch apologized and Triple H gave her the go ahead for the match against Rousey at WrestleMania.
However, the joy was short-lived as Vince McMahon came out and said that he hasn’t forgiven Lynch and suspended her for 60 days which means that she would not be able to compete at WrestleMania. Charlotte Flair was announced as her replacement to close out the show.
Our Take From It: Clearly this is a way to bring about the triple threat between Rousey, Lynch and Charlotte Flair and while there is no denying the fact that Charlotte had a big role in bringing about the women’s revolution, her involvement in this match is not doing any good for anyone.
A match against Asuka for the championship would have been much better. This definitely brings the show to a sour end and WWE successfully screws up yet another storyline.
Overall Review: Technically, the show was one of the better ones but considering the grander picture, there were some major missteps. The tag title change was a big mistake and getting Charlotte into a match with Rousey at WrestleMania was an outright blunder.
Everything was working out so nicely for WWE but now Asuka is left without a solid opponent which means that one of the women’s titles is going to take a major hit. Tonight’s show started out great but like a bad M. Night Shyamalan twist, the show left us with a sour taste towards the end.
Moment of the Night: Kalisto absolutely laying it down on the guitar
Overall Rating: 3.8/5