February 12 2018
Hey there, and welcome to my new weekly RAW wrap-up column. I’m not going to be here doing in depth analysis. Hell, if something barely interests me I may not mention it at all. But I do happen to pay attention to the show so I’ll try and keep it brief and provide you with some bullet points worth watching.
Show opens with John Cena talking about ‘moments’ and such. Wrestlemania is all about ‘moments’ people, don’t ever forget that. Although when a ‘moment’ happens don’t forget to yell “this is a great Wrestlemania moment”. Michael Cole never forgets.
John Cena vs. The Miz
After some back and forth with The Miz they throw out this match, with the loser entering the Elimination Chamber first. Keeping in mind this Elimination Chamber is merely for the number one contender’s spot because Brock Lesnar DON’T WORK FEBRUARY BABY. Cena is playing the ‘I don’t know what my road to Wrestlemania is’ if he doesn’t win the EC. Fuck, John, just walk into Vince’s office and ask for a match with whoever the fuck you want at Wrestlemania. He’s not going to say no. This is what we call a ‘logic hole’. Miz eats the AA off the top and this was decent.
*Points at Wrestlemania sign*.
Hey, have you been taking tips from Ronda Rousey?
Final Rating: ***
The Club vs. The Revival
I’m begging WWE to actually do something with the Revival and not leave them stuck in with a team they have no idea what to do with (bar hanging out with Finn Balor). Karl Anderson is wasted here. At least the Revival do a number of Gallows’ knee and make him a non-factor. As you’d expect from the Revival, there’s some savvy tag stuff and old school limb work. Shatter Machine puts Anderson away after a blind tag. You’d think the Revival would be up Vince’s alley but the more I think about it, the more I think they’re old school in the NWA sense and Vince probably thinks they’re nerds for liking Southern wrasslin.
Final Rating: **1/4
Promo Time: Kurt Angle
He’s out here to tell us Ronda Rousey will be signing her RAW contract at Elimination Chamber. Something that could have been accomplished by an onscreen graphic. Kurt also tells us Jason Jordan is injured and misses Wrestlemania. The crowd chant “yes” and Angle chides them for their behaviour. He’s right too. The crowd’s response is to “what” back. Cunts. You’re the heels here! Seth Rollins comes out here to demand a shot at the Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania.
“I don’t want to be a part of Monday Night RAW. I want to BE Monday Night RAW”. Rollins gets inserted into the ‘Last Chance’ match tonight. *Points at sign*.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
This is an easy match and story to tell given their past. So even when it falls apart they quickly find their shit again. Sasha definitely works on the heel side here, as she did throwing Bayley out of the Royal Rumble. Bayley is starting to look like a dope for trusting Sasha, given their past. Sasha targets Bayley’s bad shoulder. Bayley scoops the win by catching Sasha up top and hitting the Bayley to Belly off the top. This leads to definite tense moments before Nia Jax comes wombling in and lays them out. Urgh. Good match but I wanted to see Sasha full-out turn on Bayley here.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Skip a load of backstage stuff…
Mickie James & Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose
The weird ‘babyface’ pairing is based on Alexa trying to get Mickie onside before the Elimination Chamber. She’s looking to protect her title by getting alliances on the go early. It’s easy to buy into it because of how adorable Alexa has been paired with Braun Strowman in the Mixed Match Challenge.
Absolution position Alexa and take out Mickie and Alexa has to make the save after James gets beaten down.
Final Rating: *3/4
Walk With Elias
Elias runs through his usual shtick but he’s interrupted by Braun Strowman.
Yes! They’re making Braun more playful recently and he tries to play the double bass like a guitar here and it breaks. After a brief melodic interlude Braun kills Elias. This was fun. Strowman has been showing a little depth to his character without it getting tainted of late. When you get to this level of over you have to be careful but they’re doing a far better job with Braun than they did with Roman at the same stage.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Two big lads clobbering away. It’s a nothing match but the quality is good. Cesaro interjects on Sheamus’ behalf but Roman takes him out. Roman’s whole Superman gimmick is a tough one to swallow but his actual work is decent. Demonstrated here, ably, and Roman picks up the win with a spear. Good but disposable.
Final Rating: ***
Ivory for the Hall of Fame. Ivory was a stand-out on GLOW but her WWE work was mediocre and I’m amazed they can find enough content of her for a highlights video. Go and watch some of her matches if you don’t believe me, she had some stinkers. She’s crept in here for two reasons. 1. Her era was one where everyone was watching and 2. Her personality is big. She’ll probably be a good speech.
Second Chance Five-Way
Winner gets into the Elimination Chamber match. After Seth Rollins’ promo from earlier it’s tough to see anyone else winning but Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt are also involved. The field made up by Matt Hardy and Apollo Crews. It’s a good contest, fast-paced with quick changes in personnel. They get to throw in a lot of finishers because there’s always someone to break it up. The controversy comes from the finish where Wyatt gets superplexed by Balor and Rollins and they both get the pin. The ref, causing his own issues, counts both men as the winner and then announces nothing. Where do they get these idiots?
Final Rating: ***
I may have lucked out here, or maybe it’s just because we’re on the Road to Wrestlemania, but this was a very solid show with lots of good wrestling. RAW does tend to show a level of improvement between January and March as they try and attract new fans to the Wrestlemania experience. Plenty to see here but if I’m just calling out one match it would be Sasha vs. Bayley. They’ve done it before and they’ve done it better but the understanding they have of their characters and their move sets is impeccable. They will surely have a cracking PPV match at some point.