Welcome to the raw Reaction, where I offer up my take on this week’s episode from snowy Salt Lake City. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
The Raw opening video and pyro start us off this week. That WrestleMania sign looks just ridiculously oversized. A video package on Randy Orton’s attack on Edge last week plays before Orton comes out to the ring. Orton started to say something and then stopped, unsure of what to say. He did this a couple of times before leaving. Classic heel work from Orton because the fans were booing him a lot.
Our first match of the night is the rematch nobody wanted to see between Liv Morgan and Lana. Thankfully, Liv finished off Lana in under a minute to, hopefully, put an end to this feud. After the match, Liv’s best friend, Ruby Riott, returned from injury and came down to the ring. The former Riott Squad members go to hug before Ruby attacks Liv, leaving her laying. Lana drops Liv one more time before leaving. At least with Liv moving on to a feud with Ruby, she’ll be competing against someone with actual talent.
A quick promo on the snowstorm outside that almost caused the show to be canceled also put over the fans for showing up in the bad weather to pack the house.
The 24/7 Champion Mojo Rawley is in the ring with Riddick Moss before the Drew McIntyre/Brock Lesnar Royal Rumble video package replays. Drew comes out to cut a promo on Brock before turning his attention to Mojo. Drew tells Mojo once the bell rings, he’ll knock him out in three seconds. Bell rings and Drew flattens Mojo with the Claymore Kick for the three count. This was not for Mojo’s 24/7 title and nobody ran down after the match either.
Charly Caruso was backstage showing us that black makes her blend into the Raw background before interviewing Buddy Murphy and AOP on their upcoming six-man elimination tag match with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders. Seth shows up to talk about his triple threat match later to determine who faces Brock at Super Showdown. Rollins leads his troops into battle and they really need a name. Sorry boys, Chinstrap Mafia is already taken.
Kevin Owens is out first for his team followed by the Viking Raiders. The Viking Raiders get eliminated, Erik by pinfall after Rollins stomped him outside on the floor and Ivar cross body blocked the LED board on the ring apron, leaving Owens in a 3 on 1 situation. Owens battled back and eliminated Buddy Murphy and Akam before Rezar mauled him to pick up the win for his team. After the match, Owens got a standing ovation from the crowd. It was a really good match and effort from Owens, who almost picked up the win.
Aleister Black is out next to take on Eric Young. EY gets a few shots in, but Black quickly drops him with Black Mass for the win. After the match, Black cut a quick promo on looking for fights.
A replay is shown from last week showing us how they decided to write Andrade out for getting suspended after failing a wellness test. Humberto Carrillo makes his way to the ring before Zelina Vega comes out with Humberto’s cousin Angel Garza. Garza and Humberto have dueling promos before engaging in the fisticuffs. Garza pulls the ring mat back to give Humberto the hammerlock DDT and here comes Rey Mysterio for the save.
Rey and Garza have a really good match together and it was noted that Rey used to team with and fought Angel’s uncle, Hector Garza, back in WCW. Vega eventually gets involved, like always, and Garza drops Rey with the Hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete floor to get himself disqualified. Vega and Garza leave Rey laying. Will the Hammerlock DDT into concrete be the Wellness Violation’s finisher?
Charlotte Flair is up next to talk about who she might challenge at WrestleMania. She talked about Becky and Bayley before touching on NXT. The NXT Champion Rhea Ripley comes out and challenges Charlotte to a match at WrestleMania. Charlotte leaves without saying anything. It was announced later that Charlotte would be on NXT this week to answer Rhea’s challenge. Current plans point to a yes and hopefully, Charlotte finally puts over NXT talent (has Asuka gotten that win back yet?).
Speaking of Asuka, she’s up next against Natalya. They have a good hard-hitting match, getting a little stiff at times. After a Kairi Sane distraction, Asuka picks up the win with an Asuka Lock submission. After the match, Asuka gets on the mic and demands a rematch with Becky Lynch for the Raw Woman’s Title. Becky comes out and, after a quick promo, accepts the challenge and the match is announced later for next week.
Main event time with Rollins starting off with a promo about how times have changed. Last year, he was going to liberate the title from Brock and the fans cheered. This year, he is going to do the same thing and the fans boo him. Ricochet and Bobby Lashley enter the ring to get the triple threat match under way. It doesn’t take long for Murphy and AOP to interfere in the match, bringing Kevin Owens out to the stage. Murphy runs up the ramp at Owens, who tosses him off the stage. Erik appears from out of the crowd and attacks AOP. Owens joins in and they start wailing on AOP with chairs, driving them out of the arena through the crowd. Once that is over, the match kicks into another gear and really gets going. After the required Tower of Doom spot, Ricochet hits the 630 Splash on Bobby Lashley to pick up the win and will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at Super Showdown.
After the match, Since they are short on time, Brock runs down and plants Ricochet with an F5 to close out the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
After the nonsense interference spot, the triple threat match was really good. It would have been nice to have Lashley win to face Lesnar, but since Ricochet was the only face in the match, he picked up the victory. Either way, it should be a good match.
It looks like the Liv/Lana feud is over. Where is Rusev’s payoff?
The Hammerlock DDT into the concrete floor spot is getting to be a bit overused. Hopefully, it is not something being used going forward on a regular basis.
Why didn’t someone try to pin Mojo after Drew kicked him into next week? The 24/7 title rules were back in effect.
It was a fairly decent show this week. It was amazing that they were able to pack the house given the really bad weather outside. That’s all I’ve got for now, until next time.