Hello again everyone! It’s another week and another RAW, and we are just about 60 days away from WrestleMania. This, of course, means we are very much on the Road to WrestleMania. This week’s RAW? Well, it brings us a road trip to Rip City (or, Portland, for those who might not know). What does the red brand have in store for us? Well, after a loaded week last week, there should be plenty to rehash. While we don’t have Brock Lesnar advertised, we can likely expect some from Rollins to keep that program simmering. We should have more from Kurt Angle, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin. The female Superstars continue to fight to determine who has a shot at being the first women’s tag champions. As if that wasn’t enough, we can expect more between Finn Balor and new enemy Bobby Lashley. All that and so much more, so let’s get right down to business and crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
If only by default, I’ll go with the main event tonight. It was not great, but it was good enough.
Worst match of the night:
I was not a fan of Road Dogg and Jeff Jarrett and Elias. Just not working for me. Makes me wonder why Jarrett is back…watching James is sorta painful, not to mention missing something (specifically, someone, who now works in AEW). I assume there is a plan, and we might like the payoff…but for now, it’s not winning me over.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Get these hands
Star of the Night
Hmm…I have two choices.
One, EC3. I mean, the guy got his first win on the main roster. That has to count for something.
And, let’s give Kurt Angle (and Braun Strowman) some love too.
Spot of the Night:
Some OK ones, but nothing like last week’s plethora of F-5s. The slams on the steps were decent enough, however.
Jobber of the Night:
Is there any question? It has to be Dean Ambrose. Frankly I am a bit surprised he was even used on TV, but I suppose that’s Ambrose being a good pro…all the same, there is no doubt he was jobbed out to EC3 tonight.
Upset of the Night:
I suppose I could go with EC3 over Dean Ambrose…except, we know Dean is leaving, so now we expect him to lose basically every night. If we had not known he was leaving, this would have been a massive upset.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Very interesting way to open RAW, with Becky Lynch attacking Stephanie McMahon because the boss wants the challenger to Ronda Rousey’s RAW Women’s Championship to see a doctor. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to see how this loosely gets us to a triple threat match. Stephanie thinks Lynch can’t go, so somehow she elevates Charlotte-either by her own choice, or by some qualifying match. Then, Lynch gets cleared, and we have our three Superstars.
Now, I am not a fan of this-as big as it might be-because I think Lynch/Rousey has a very special feel all it’s own.
Regardless, was a nice way to start the show.
Dean Ambrose was back on RAW, and actually seemed to be back to his more comedic side, teasing EC3. Though, Ambrose asked why EC3 wasn’t in the ring…and it led to EC3 decking Ambrose.
Botch of the night:
Not a botch, per se…but the punches being “thrown” by Becky at Stephanie McMahon were just so bad. When they showed them in replay, it was even worse.
Only thing comparable to that was Corbin taking the choke slam on the steps. I don’t blame him for it, but he landed feet first and it was brutally obvious, so as to soften the blow.
LOL Moment of the night:
Ambrose and his rapid fire questions where he wouldn’t give EC3 a chance to respond. “What is an EC3?”. “What does it mean?”. “Where are EC1 and 2?”. “Who does your hair?”
Man, we are going to miss Ambrose…
EC3 got more TV time, seemingly being a guest on Moment of Bliss. It was interrupted, however, by Nia Jax and Tamina. Seems EC3 isn’t going to get to speak on WWE TV for a while. That, and Alexa Bliss sure seemed to be pushing the PG side of things with some rather charged commentary. Seems there could be something to all the envelope pushing lately, going back at least to the production assistant “walking in” on her.
Nice to see The Revival get another shot at tag gold (hope this counts, or even if it matters).
Also, in spite of the pre-match beating, Bayley and Sasha advance to the tag title crowning Elimination Chamber, as expected.
Not a real shot, but overall, the show didn’t have the same vibe as last week. However, that’s to be expected, seeing how last week was the post-Rumble show and had Brock and Seth and Becky and Ronda. Tonight’s was bound to be a bit of a down spot.
For me, it was Kurt Angle and Braun Strowman, or seeing Becky be chipper. For all the deficiencies in tonight’s effort, there were good showings. A lot of effort was put in to developing the second tier stuff (like Apollo Crews, for example), but enough was done to cover the bigger players too-Lynch opened, Strowman and McIntyre closed, Rollins had a video package. Not a bad show. I’d call it…efficient.
After the final bell:
Curious where they are going with Kurt Angle…he already retired once, and is in the Hall of Fame…so is he going to retire again? Are we going to be getting a loser leaves WWE match at WrestleMania?
All in all, not a bad effort. WWE is in a bit of a bind, as they want to continue the build toward ‘Mania, while also pushing the upcoming Elimination Chamber show too.