Happy Monday folks! Now that the last of the brand specific PPVs is out of the way, we are firmly on the Road to WrestleMania. Tonight’s stop is the shiny new Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit! The main attraction of the night? Why, that would be the promised encounter between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman assured us that The Beast would be in The Motor City tonight, so we should get this oft-delayed confrontation, right? Well, we are going to find out. There should be some fallout from Asuka’s announcement last night, and many other matches to hype or set up, as we are but a month away from the biggest show of the WWE year. Are you ready? Then let’s crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
Seth Rollins. Finn Balor. Very good match. If they can take that and amp it up, plus add in The Miz, then the Intercontinental Championship match could be a show-stealer.
I have to give at least a little nod to the tag team battle royal main event. Nice for the tag teams to get that slot…and apparently, Braun is a tag team all on his own.
Worst match of the night:
Nia and the jobber. The payoff was afterwards.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
this is awesome
Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks
Yes! Yes! Yes!
One more match
Star of the Night
John Cena, for what I have to call a blistering promo.
Braun Strowman, for showing that the Monster Among Men is a tag team. Wonder who he’s going to actually join forces with….Elias, perhaps?
Spot of the Night:
How about Braun coming down, and despite the other Superstars protesting that he’s not a tag team, he screamed “ring the bell” at the ref, and the ref did indeed ring it…and then he just destroyed Apollo.
Then, Strowman screams…”I’m going to WrestleMania” and then he heaved Anderson out of the ring for the final elimination, winning the tag team battle royal.
Jobber of the Night:
Just when I thought I didn’t have one, Joan King is fed to Asuka. Problem solved.
Upset of the Night:
Nia, after she heard Mickie and Alexa speaking frankly.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Cena’s rant against The Undertaker was both epic and kind of surprising. I honestly had expected that if the match were going to happen, we would get some mutual respect to set it up-two veterans who have both been in WWE a long time, who have been mainstays, doing something they’ve never done-fight at WrestleMania.
Instead, we got Cena calling out ‘Taker, saying the Dead Man is hiding behind excuses and can’t be all that broken down if he’s showing off workout videos on his wife’s Instagram account. So, the challenge has been screamed out for The Undertaker…will he accept? Is Cena now Dead Man Walking?
Botch of the night:
It was supposed to be a botch, WWE having Alexa and Mickie make themselves look like fools on a “hot” mic, only figuring it out when Charlie came and told them. It was the closest to a botch…but it was not a botch.
Coach asking “Is Rhyno going to WrestleMania?” like, 10 minutes AFTER Rhyno was eliminated….that was absolutely a botch.
Commentary of the night:
I can’t decide if you’d fit in better here or at Pee Wee’s playhouse with your one word every week
New Orleans isn’t so great for streaks, historically speaking
LOL Moment of the night:
Let’s see…Cena drank some guy’s beer…or…Cena went and tried to get a Let’s go Roman chant…or better, the Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks chants.
The ref who Kurt assigned to this debacle “ultimate deletion” match next week..”did I do something wrong?”
Right out of the gate, Kurt Angle comes to the ring and announces that Brock has once again no-showed. An angry Roman comes out and goes off, this time really dumping on Vince McMahon, saying he had just walked past Vince, and Vince lacked the respect for Reigns to tell him backstage. So, I guess this is how they are going to next try and get Reigns over-take a page out of the Austin playbook, ripping on Vince. Question now is, how long before Reigns assaults the Chairman?
Follow that up with cameras following Reigns to the back where he confronted Vince (nice to see SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon right there too…so much for that brand split). Vince and Roman went to Vince’s “office”. When we got back from commercial, Reigns left pissed off and Vince spoke, didn’t rip Brock, was mad at Reigns…gave his word that Lesnar would show up NEXT week, and suspended Reigns.
Here’s my fatherly rant. I don’t do this often, if ever, but allow me this one. Yes, Cena has a new movie coming out (Blockers, but we all know it’s Cock Blockers). So, I get why WWE wants to advertise it. But, here’s the thing. They’ve resisted turning him heel for so long since both he and they say his appeal to the kids and that demographic is super-valuable. OK, fine. But..THAT demo is more than likely watching at 8PM or shortly thereafter. And THAT demo is most certainly NOT going to go see his newest movie (It’s about as opposite of Ferdinand as you can get). Now, this was just for the folks watching on USA….so I assume the international folks didn’t have to deal with it…but happiness is trying to have your 7 year old NOT ask what sex, or a sex pact is.
Cena had a really interesting segment…first saying his Road to WresleMania was as a fan, going into the crowd, drinking beer and playing that up…then acting as though we was not supposed to say what he wanted, then saying it (it being, challenging Undertaker). He went from funny and playful, to taking some really serious and unexpected shots.
The Bar hint (OK, it was a bit more than a hint) that another Superstar Shakeup is coming post-‘Mania…and they want to be traded, all because they pissed off every RAW tag team and got pummeled.
Kid Rock is the celebrity inductee. Not bad, should be nice musically speaking. Surprised Motorhead didn’t go in first…but my guess now would be they go in alongside Hunter, whenever Hunter goes in.
Very little to complain about. My big gripe was the ad placement.
It was a very busy night. Lots of notable happenings.
Asuka, even though she’s going after Charlotte (To be the woman, she has to beat the woman), is still going after all comers on RAW too.
Miz/Balor/Rollins is looking good.
Sasha and Bayley is quite possible too…baby steps.
Cena called out The Undertaker and got extremely intense in doing so.
Nia versus Bliss is a virtual certainty for ‘Mania, I have to think.
The fans seemed to love Reigns getting suspended (not a good sign, don’t you think?) and love the idea of Undertaker destroying Cena.
After the final bell:
If there was any doubt that this was WrestleMania season, I do believe tonight cleared all that remaining doubt. It was a show hell-bent on setting up more matches, and indeed it did. Still some to be announced of course, but the groundwork has absolutely been laid.
The wrestling was not always the focal point tonight, but for a change, that was perfectly fine. This was, in my opinion, one of the better RAWs in a while, and if WWE can keep the shows coming at this level or close to it, from here till New Orleans, that’s exciting.