Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s episode from Brooklyn. You can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
The usual Raw opening and pyro kicks us off before WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring for promo time. Hayman goes into his usual spiel about Brock beating Ricochet at Super Showdown and will do the same to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania. Drew comes out and gets face to face with Brock before Brock goes to leave. Brock charges back into a Claymore Kick to take him down. Drew leaves and Brock staggers back to his feet and back up the ramp. When Brock gets to the top of the ramp, Drew comes back out and drops Brock with another Claymore Kick. Drew held up the WWE title and the fans chanted one more time. Drew obliged, dropping Brock with one more Claymore Kick before pointing at the WrestleMania sign to end the segment. Brock made Drew look like a million bucks here and they need to keep Drew looking strong for his title win at Mania. Fantastic opening segment.
Our first match of the night has The Street Profits taking on Seth Rollins and Don’t Call Me Buddy Murphy for the Raw tag team titles. This match is billed as a rematch from Super Showdown and The Street Profits final opportunity at the Raw tag team titles. Why don’t we just have Seth and Murphy just hand the titles over to save time? Anyhow, the match was really good for the time allotted. AOP tried to get involved in the match and the ref tossed them. While AOP and Murphy were debating the call, Kevin Owens slides in behind the ref’s back and drops Seth with a stunner before AOP chases him to the back. Dawkins blasts Murphy into next week on the outside and Ford hits the frog splash to win the titles. It was a fantastic match and I’m glad the Street Profits finally got the tag team titles. Let’s hope that they can do big things with them. After the match, Seth demands and gets a rematch at Elimination Chamber. That should be a Street Profits win.
Up next is the 24/7 title match between Riddick Moss and Ricochet. It was noted that Riddick was the longest-reigning 24/7 champion at 22 days and counting. Ricochet tried hard but he just could not get Riddick over in his losing effort. I’m confused as to why Ricochet lost here when Rusev was backstage and available to be jobbed out to the 24/7 jobber. Also, isn’t it strange that after Mojo said he wanted to make the title mean something, he’s nowhere to be found now?
AJ Styles and The OC are up next for AJ’s match against Aleister Black. AJ cuts a promo on the Undertaker before Black comes out. AJ pulls the” you must defeat Karl Anderson first” card and Black polishes Anderson off quickly with the Black Mass kick. AJ then pulls the “you must defeat Luke Gallows” card and Gallows loses about as quickly as Anderson, only by DQ instead of Black Mass kicked. Gallows and Anderson double up on Black so AJ can pick the bones to defeat Black in a very short match. I know that AJ is trying to watch his shoulder so I don’t quite get the reasoning behind putting him in a match with a striker like Black. It’s announced later that AJ and Black square off at Elimination Chamber in a No DQ match. I’m pretty sure Undertaker has his flight already booked.
Our first women’s match is up between Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott with Sarah Logan as the special guest ref. All three are in the Elimination Chamber match and all three have absolutely zero chance of winning the Chamber match. They tried the best that they could in the time they were given, but the match itself didn’t really have much meaning behind it. Liv picked up the win with a fast count from Sarah after Ruby bumped into Sarah. After the match, Sarah dropped Liv to be the last Riott Squad member standing.
Erick Rowan was backstage with No Way Jose and the Conga Line when Jose asked nicely what was in the cage. Rowan said because he asked nicely, he would show them all what was in the cage, a gigantic (robotic) tarantula. Jose and company scatter. *yawn* I think Creative forgot where they were going with that and just came up with something. Next!
Up next is Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane, filling in for the “injured” Asuka. Congrats to Kairi on getting married last week. I’m sure this was not the wedding gift she was expecting. This should have been a really good match, given their history in NXT and that fantastic Mae Young Classic finals match. But, since this is on the main roster, it’s a bit of a ho hum match that Shayna wins while Becky Lynch is watching from the announce desk wearing Lawler’s crown on her head.
Our main event match has Rey Mysterio teaming up with Humberto Carrillo to take on Angel Garza and the returning Andrade. The match itself was pretty fast paced and exciting. The end comes with Andrade having to serve his penance for the Wellness Policy violation and eat a clean pinfall from Carrillo. Carrillo really needed the win but still loses way too much to be considered a legit threat to Andrade’s US title.
Our main event segment is Beth Phoenix giving a medical update on Edge. Randy Orton comes out almost immediately and the Brooklyn smarks start cheering and chanting RKO. Beth never really gives us an update and Randy gives a really nice story on how Edge saved him from himself. As for the destruction of Edge, Randy said he did it for The Rock. Wait, wrong angle. Randy said he wanted to protect Edge from himself and that’s why he did what he did. After calling Beth a lousy wife, she slaps Randy and he RKOs her. Randy immediately bails from the ring while help arrives. Beth slowly makes it to a sitting position as we go off the air. Beth did a perfect sell for that RKO.
Let look at tonight’s highs and lows:
The Street Profits win the Raw Tag Team Championship. So happy for them and it was a nice touch to have Montez Ford’s wife Bianca Belair backstage to witness the event.
Brock put Drew over in a big way tonight. This is what Brock should be doing in every feud and not just mowing everyone down.
Both women’s matches fell kinda flat. Liv/Ruby was ok while Shayna/Kairi was a far cry from their NXT and MYC work. Four out of the five are in the Chamber match, but we all know that Shayna is winning that match since she didn’t win the Rumble.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.