WWE Raw results from February 25 as the show aired from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
Roman Reigns Is Back
Roman Reigns is easily the most polarizing figure in WWE and on RAW he received one of the most thunderous ovations a superstar has ever received in recent times.
He went on thank his fans for his support and said that he wants to use WWE as a platform to help others in a similar situation like him which is noble.
Reigns gave the wonderful news that he is in remission and that he is back. As he was making his way back to the ring, Seth Rollins came out and the two shared a great moment.
Our take from it: This was an awesome moment that didn’t seem fake at all. Roman Reigns being back means that WWE can have one last Shield moment before Ambrose leaves. This whole segment was also done very nicely and Reigns has become really good at his promo skills.
This also gives WWE one more money match for WrestleMania. The big question is how would they go about this. WWE needs worthy opponents. They could also go with Ambrose as a villain but that hardly seems the right way to close out one of the best factions in a long time.
Either way, that is for later. This was a truly heart-warming segment. Hopefully, there is an outside chance that all this might force Ambrose to reconsider.
The RAW Tag Champions Lose Again
Aleister Black and Ricochet took on The Revival and this was shorter than their defeat last week. It was basically an exhibition of Ricochet’s and Black’s awesome in-ring abilities.
The first half of the match saw the Revival entirely on back foot. They wrestled back some control but eventually lost out with Black hitting a Black Mass on Dawson to hand the tag champions their second successive loss in as many weeks.
Winners: Aleister Black and Ricochet
Our take from it: WWE is forgetting one very important thing and that is the fact that NXT is the developmental territory for the WWE irrespective of how good the talent is down there. In the eyes of mainstream audience, this would seem like the RAW tag division is being undermined in the worst way possible.
This does nothing for the NXT talent either as they are being randomly thrown into the thick of things without any context. Why would anyone watch the tag matches anymore after such shambolic treatment? The performances were good but this set-up further worsened the irreparable damage inflicted last week.
Dean Ambrose Challenges McIntyre, Becky Lynch Gets Arrested and Ronda Rousey Takes a Stand
It was a typical Elias segment were he first got interrupted by Lacey Evans and then by Dean Ambrose who demanded a match against Drew McIntyre. Elias got hit by Dirty Deeds for trying to play off Ambrose a la Oscars.
Ronda Rousey and Natalya teamed up to take on the Riott Squad. This was a match of decent length with plenty of back and forth. Sarah Logan looked the more impressive of the Riott Squad wrestlers. Natalya was taking the backseat as she didn’t do much.
Towards the latter half of the match, Rousey took charge and set up the Armbar only for Becky Lynch to show up and hit Natalya to cause the DQ.
Ronda and Becky got into a brawl and the police arrested and escorted Becky from the arena. Rousey then helped Natty to the back before returning to the ring and demanding Vince McMahon make his way to the ring and set this right.
Stephanie answered the call instead and tried to tell her that the match between Rousey and Charlotte is already set and that Lynch has been arrested. Rousey did not want to hear any of it and left her title at Stephanie’s feet and walked out as a way of protesting Lynch not fighting her at WrestleMania.
Winners (By DQ): Ronda Rousey and Natalya
Our take from it: The Ambrose segment was light-hearted and Elias was mildly entertaining. As far as the Rousey protest goes, we all knew that this was coming. Obviously, WWE is trying to make Rousey the face here but this is an odd way to go about it.
The Lynch and Rousey brawl was quite entertaining though and again shows why it should be just these two women who should be facing off at WrestleMania and Charlotte should be off doing something else.
This does keep the storyline alive and is actually coming off to be more entertaining than expected despite this ruse being apparent from a mile away.
Kurt Angles Squashes Jinder Mahal, Weird Moment of Bliss
Jinder Mahal used the flimsiest of premises of not being invited to the Ric Flair party and challenged anyone who was. Kurt Angle answered the call and finished him with three German Suplexes followed by an Ankle Lock. He suplexed the Singh brothers post-match for good measure.
Alexa Bliss took a dig at Rousey before calling Finn Balor as her guest. Some weird flirting followed and was interrupted by Lio Rush who demanded yet another rematch for Lashley but Balor cleverly traps him with his own words and grants Rush the title shot instead.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Our take from it: The Jinder Mahal thing seemed random, almost as if the creative team suddenly ran into Jinder Mahal and came up with this on the fly. It was, however, fun to see him getting his a** handed by Angle.
The Bliss segment though was weird from the very outset. For all the progress the women in WWE have made with regards to their wrestling capabilities, they still suck big time when it comes to stuff like flirting.
It was almost cringe worthy to the point where the interruption by Lio Rush felt like a welcome relief. Keeping Lashley from fighting Balor was a good decision though.
Balor Retains, Heavy Machinery Makes a Statement, Braun Strowman Bulldozes Lashley
This was actually quite entertaining. Lio Rush got all the early offense in and tried to rally but Balor got back with a Sling Blade. Lio was able to get a couple of two counts. Rush then missed a Moonsault but failed to capitalize. Some back and forth took place and Rush tried a Springboard Stunner but Balor countered it into a 1916 followed by a Coup de Grâce for the win.
Ascension were shown making fun of Otis and got driven into a few ladders for their troubles.
Lashley had a verbal go at Lio before his match, regarding whether he can be trusted. The match was quite short with Braun Strowman utterly dominating his opponents but weirdly leaft the ring without even attempting to pin Lashley.
Winner: Finn Balor/No contest
Our take from it: It is clear that WWE is trying to keep the Balor vs. Lashley match-up on hold and this whole angle with Rush is turning out to be quite fun. The big picture though is a bit unclear. Having Lashley in this title scene will be detrimental but that seems to be the direction WWE is going in.
It was refreshing to see the Ascension do something. Heavy Machinery proved that they can be fun out of the ring as well and that is all the more reason for them to end the nonsensical state the tag titles are in right now.
Strowman just bullying wrestlers is fun to watch and this seems to be setting up a multi-man tag match for WrestleMania.
The Shield Brothers Reunite…..Sort Of
Ambrose got the No Disqualification stipulation that he wanted and straightaway tried to attack McIntyre with his belt. It backfired as McIntyre got hold of the belt and whipped Ambrose quite a few times. The action spilled outside the ring with the barricades being used as a weapon.
The ring steps got involved and Ambrose seemed to be in control but Elias appeared out of nowhere and smashed a guitar on Ambrose before McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick for the win.
Post-match, Lashley joined McIntyre and Elias to beat up Ambrose but were stopped by a chair-wielding Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. They left the ring as soon as the heels were driven out and Ambrose stared at his former brethren with a grin.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Our take from it: First of all, it was delightful to see Roman Reigns spearing people left and right. Roman Reigns had been missing that x-factor that stopped him from appearing like a legitimate main-eventer but he seems to have that now along with the universal support of the WWE Universe.
This somewhat confirms that the Shield will have one last hurray but also creates problems for the likes of Strowman and Angle come WrestleMania. That aside though, WrestleMania seems to be a lot more exciting now than it was a few weeks ago.
Bayley Beats Nia Jax, Batista Finally Gets The Wrestling Angle He Wanted
The Bayley vs Jax match began in rather classical fashion with Jax putting up an exhibition of power while Bayley tried different tactics to bring the larger wrestler down mostly by going for her knees.
Banks and Tamina also had their moment as Tamina tried to attack Banks but got outsmarted into going knee first into the ring steps. Bayley followed this with an elbow on Jax for the win.
Most of the RAW superstars were out to celebrate Ric Flair’s 70th Birthday. Roman Reigns was weirdly missing. The special guests – HBK, Sting, Kurt Angle, Ricky Steamboat – are invited and a video package about Ric Flair was aired. A custom belt for Ric Flair was unveiled but Ric did not come out when his music hit.
Backstage, Batista was shown dragging a camera man and then entering Ric Flairs room. Sounds of attack were heard and Ric Flair was dragged out by Batista who then exclaimed if Triple H has his attention now!
Our take from it: The Bayley match was great and allowing her to win was the right call. The big talking point though is the return of Batista.
The previous Batista return hadn’t gone that well as it was perceived at coming at the cost of Daniel Bryan’s rise. Batista had never wanted to return as a face in the first place. This was simply awesome. It was also the right way to celebrate Ric Flair’s birthday instead of some cheesy affair. WrestleMania just got even more exciting.
Overall Raw Review: This episode of RAW had minimal amount of wrestling but featured quite a few landmark moments. Roman Reigns returned, Rousey took a stand and Batista returned in an acceptable manner.
Apart from the RAW tag division being treated like a bad joke, the rest of RAW is gearing up to put a memorable show at WrestleMania. There are still quite a few things that have to be finalized before then and that makes the upcoming episodes of RAW exciting.
Overall, a pretty feel-good show that lacked a bit of depth and substance at times.
Moment of the Night: Batista asking Triple H if he has his attention now
Overall Rating: 3.6/5