Seth Rollins Has To Make A Choice
Seth Rollins has come a long way since his Shield days and it is a testament to how good and how innovative he has been over the years. Last Sunday’s Royal Rumble win was well deserved and it was natural that the show opened with him in the spotlight.
While we are excited for how this is all turning out, it also puts one of the biggest disappointments of recent times in the fore, the heel turn of Dean Ambrose. It was done so tastelessly and handled so uncreatively that within a short few months, one of the most anticipated heel turns of the decade has been rendered toothless.
That aside, it was great to see Triple H goading Rollins on to make a decision and possibly hinting at a passing of the torch match somewhere down the line. The interruption by Ambrose seemed a bit out of place but if it was meant to lay groundwork for a Triple H vs. Ambrose match at WrestleMania then we can certainly get behind it.
Overall, this was a nice way to open RAW and hopefully Rollins ends the meaningless and rage inducing reign of Brock Lesnar as the Universal Champion.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose [Rollins puts Ambrose in his place]
Seth Rollins facing Dean Ambrose was once considered a WrestleMania main event worthy match and now it has been relegated to an impromptu match on RAW and as always it isn’t the fault of the wrestlers involved as was shown in this match.
These two have a sort of awesome chemistry that should not work but does, which is what makes this such a delight to watch from a purely in-ring perspective.
Where WWE goes from here is interesting but this definitely need a lot of damage limitation from now.
Dean Ambrose should have been the biggest heel on RAW right now but at the moment he ranks below wrestlers like Tamina speaking for which, Tamina and Nia Jax delivered a funny angle by attacking Ambrose after he had lost this match.
If WWE is setting up an inter-gender clash between these wrestlers then it would be interesting to watch. It would be very progressive of WWE but it could also end up being a dud. This was a nice match though and still leaves things wide open which means that WWE still have the opportunity to repair their Dean Ambrose debacle.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Nia Jax and Tamina Qualify For The Tag Tournament While Angle Suffers Defeat Again
Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James
It was during the course of this match that we checked the age of Tamina and she is 41. The reason we did so was because of how lethargically she was moving around in the ring. She was never the most gifted in-ring worker and now it is downright unbearable. Put her in the company of Nia Jax and all the flaws get amplified.
We are sure that WWE finds this team irresistibly strong but they are the exact opposite of that. Therefore, putting them in a match against the team of Alexa Bliss and Mickie James and having them actually win seems ludicrous.
The only explanation is that either Bliss is still too injured or WWE has other plans for her. Either way, this match was not at all enjoyable.
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin are still having their silly feud and it was what it was. Angle is well past his prime and Corbin isn’t someone gifted enough to work around Angle’s shortcomings.
The match was short and possibly is the start of a multi-man tag match at WrestleMania involving other wrestlers like these who have nothing else going on at the moment. These two matches were pretty ordinary even by recent RAW standards.
Winners: Nia Jax & Tamina / Baron Corbin
And Finn Balor Gets Relegated To The Mid-Card Just Like That
If there was any doubt about Finn Balor getting a Universal Title shot being anything but a temporary thing then this segment firmly erased those doubts, which is sad. It would have been so awesome if Balor had won last night and Rollins challenged him to set up an epic sequel to the very first Universal Title match.
All we can do is dream as Finn Balor got dismantled by Bobby Lashley. It seems that this is the feud Finn Balor is destined for and hopefully he gets to wear this belt longer than a day down the line.
As for Lashley and Lio, we expected their irritating nature to work in their favor once they turned heel but if anything, it has made them even blander and the sooner this title changes hands, the better.
The Revival vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
The Revival sought revenge as they battled Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins in a match set up by Long Island Iced Z’s save of Hawkins a week ago.
The former Major Brothers would not prove much of a threat to The Revival’s claim to tag team dominance, as Hawkins missed a blind tag and fell victim to Shatter Machine as The Top Guys picked up a much-needed victory.
Winners: The Revival
Elias Is The New Big Show?
You know how the Big Show would take on random people at WrestleMania just because WWE did not know what to do with him? Elias seems to be the new king of this no man’s land as not only did he appear to turn heel again but he is no longer part of anything important for WrestleMania and instead took on old-timer wrestlers with neither having been a big name in their day.
We assumed that the thing with Jeff Jarrett at Royal Rumble was a one off thing but maybe we were wrong. Road Dogg got added to the mix and while it is always fun to watch people being shattered with guitars, it begs the bigger question as to why this needs to take place in the first place.
Elias was in a great position where he was going to take on the likes of McIntyre and Corbin in tag action but instead we are set to get some crappy gimmicky match involving wrestlers from the past who carried the guitar as a prop.
This is literally the definition of wastage of talent. Elias was in such a great place ever since he turned face but WWE just does not feel happy building up deserving talent do they?
Natalya & Dana Brooke vs. The Riott Squad [Tag Team Qualifying Match]
The second Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber qualifying match of the night saw Natalya and Dana Brooke battle The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.
Morgan and Logan beat down Brooke for most of the match before the former NXT standout tagged Natalya into the match. The Queen of Harts was rolling, trapping Morgan in a Sharpshooter. An alert Logan shoved Brooke into her own partner, breaking the hold. Morgan would then score an upset win over the former women’s champion to advance to Elimination Chamber.
There was not much to this match, other than the same antics fans have come to expect from the vastly underrated Riott Squad.
The Riott Squad winning made the most sense and sets them up as one of the favorites to win the tag titles, while the dissension demonstrated after the match by Natalya and Brooke hints at a potential program between them. That is the type of depth this women’s division needs.
Winners: The Riott Squad
Rousey vs. Lynch Is On
Ronda Rousey vs. Bayley
It is so refreshing to see a fighting champion on RAW. This whole segment was nicely laid out with Ronda Rousey accepting a challenge from Bayley and putting on a really great match.
This was another instance where the Baddest Woman on the Planet proved that she has what it takes to hang in the ring with some of the best.
Winner and still Raw Women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Becky Lynch Confronts Ronda Rousey
Rousey did pick up the win a little faster than expected but what followed was pure gold. That weird heel-face dynamic was at work again. Becky Lynch is the supposed heel here but was being cheered out of the building while Rousey was booed so vocally that at times it was difficult for her to be even heard.
The animosity between the two also feels real and in hindsight we are happy that this match did not take place at Survivor Series as originally planned as this match could easily be the show stealer at WrestleMania.
While a lot of things are still going wrong on RAW, WWE has managed to fix one of the glaring issues and now the RAW women’s championship is something we can be legitimately interested in.
Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre [Strowman is beat up]
Clearly WWE is still on track with some sort of tag match that involves Braun Strowman on one side and Corbin and McIntyre on the other side. Kurt Angle could be a possible teammate for Strowman in the future but tonight he was all alone. Again, this is something that isn’t monumental but we are enjoying it.
Big men who can actually wrestle going at it against each other has always been a quintessential part of pro-wrestling and this feud has all the right ingredients in place to be something fun and enjoyable on the big stage and possibly the best way forward for the time being for all the men involved here.
Along those line, there was nothing to complain here and this was simple wrestling at its best.
Winner by DQ: Braun Strowman
Rollins Makes His Choice
Seth Rollins hit the ring and took the fight right to Brock Lesnar, unfazed by The Beast. Lesnar obliterated Rollins time after time, hoisting him up for four straight F-5s. The Architect, ever defiant in the face of a ruthless rival, egged him on and ate another of the finishers as The Beast stood tall to close out the show.
We have hoped so many times in the past regarding Lesnar finally getting dethroned but each time our hopes have been dashed in the most brutal manner possible and we do not want to go through all of that again. We hope for the sake of wrestling that Rollins finally puts an end to all this Lesnar nonsense.
We got it when WWE were doing this when no one else had the drawing power to sell out arenas and PPVs but that has changed. If anything, Lesnar is a detriment now and the sooner WWE realizes that he should not be holding the title the better it would be.
Hopefully, Rollins finally is the one who decapitates the beast and ushers in a new era in the WWE. This was a fitting end to RAW but we say so with a lot of apprehension.
Overall Review: Usually the RAW after a major PPV sucks and tonight was no different. Except for the two main title scenes, everything else was just fine or lackluster. A lot of things that happened seemed random.
Finn Balor’s relegation seems unfair. At least they have somewhat fixed the women’s title picture and hopefully they can do the same with the IC title and the tag titles. WWE really needs to get their act together and put on a coherent show worth watching.
Moment of the Night: Stare down between Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey
Overall Rating: 3.3/5