The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 02/05/18 Review

The road to WWE Elimination Chamber continues this week on Raw with Roman Reigns facing Bray Wyatt in a match where the winner gets a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Also advertised for Raw is John Cena vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias, Asuka vs. Bayley and Sheamus & Cesaro defend the Raw Tag Team Titles vs. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan in a rematch from the Royal Rumble.

Live from Des Moines, Iowa, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1289 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. If you like what you read here, please support TJRWrestling by getting one of our amazing t-shirts right here. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

Raw began with Michael Cole shilling matches to come including Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match “in minutes” according to Cole.

Wyatt did a promo from a darkened room talking about last year he won the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber. Wyatt said standing in his way this year is his nemesis, Roman Reigns. Wyatt said the world no longer recognizes Reigns. Wyatt pointed out Reigns losing the Royal Rumble and the Intercontinental Title, yet he’s still got bravado. Wyatt said that Reigns is a failure waiting patiently to be put out of his misery. Wyatt said he’s happy to oblige. Wyatt said waiting for Reigns is something far worse than failure…him.

Roman Reigns did a promo from the locker room saying that he’s not a failure. Reigns said that he’s had ups and downs. Reigns said it’s the mark of a great journey. Reigns said it starts tonight, goes through Elimination Chamber and goes to Suplex City at WrestleMania. Reigns said Wyatt can’t stop him and Brock Lesnar can’t stop him from becoming the next Universal Champion.

Analysis: Solid promo from both guys to set up their match. Nice to see Raw starting with a match and not the usual 15-minute promo.

Bray Wyatt made his entrance while the “fireflies” were out with their cell phones providing the light in the darkened arena.

Roman Reigns made his entrance to the usual mixed reaction. Plenty of boos at first, but you can hear the kids screaming too.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman welcomed us to the show. The announce table is back to the usual spot on the right side of the ramp.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns

Wyatt charged at Reigns in the corner, Reigns moved and Wyatt did his upside down pose. Reigns nailed Wyatt with an uppercut punch. Reigns charged in, Wyatt moved and Reigns went shoulder first into the ring post. That’s a spot that is common in Reigns matches. Matt Hardy was shown watching backstage. Wyatt grabbed a headlock. Fans did the “Let’s Go Roman/Roman sucks” chants. Reigns nailed Wyatt with two clotheslines followed by a leaping clothesline. Wyatt bailed to the floor. Reigns went for the Drive By dropkick, but Wyatt was ready and hit a clothesline. Wyatt sent Reigns into the steel steps, which led to Reigns pushing the steps over. That was weak. Anyway, they went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Wyatt grabbed a chinlock on Reigns because that’s the usual spot when they return from break. Hardy was shown watching with his mouth wide open doing his laughing. Reigns nailed a Samoan Drop. Reigns nailed the clotheslines in the corner, but Wyatt grabbed him, Reigns with a back elbow and Wyatt with a running cross body block for a two count. Wyatt took control with an uppercut. Wyatt chopped Reigns and set up for a superplex, but Reigns hit Wyatt with headbutts to break free and Reigns hit a Powerbomb for a two count. There was some issue with the feed, but we got the replay with Wyatt hitting a uranage followed by a senton splash for a two count. Reigns countered the Sister Abigail attempt with a rollup followed by a Superman Punch for two. Reigns wanted a Spear, but Wyatt nailed a kick to the head and the Sister Abigail got a two count with Reigns getting his right shoulder up. Wyatt was stunned by Reigns kicking out, but I doubt viewers at home were. Some fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. That chant comes way too easily these days. Reigns fought out of a Sister Abigail attempt and Reigns hit a Spear for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: *** Good match that was the usual from two guys that have wrestled dozens of times in the last few years. The announcers did a good job of pointing out how familiar they are as opponents. It was a predictable match with Reigns kicking out the Sister Abigail finisher, which was no surprise and when Wyatt went for it again, Reigns avoided it and hit his Spear to win. I think the crowd chanted “this is awesome” a little too easily. Nothing wrong with the match although the finish was a bit anticlimactic. I just wouldn’t say it was awesome when it was the usual match from them.

The win means that Reigns will join Braun Strowman, John Cena & Elias in the Elimination Chamber with two more men. Winner faces Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.

Analysis: I would be shocked if Reigns doesn’t win that match.

Post match, Matt Hardy was in the ring behind a fallen Wyatt. Reigns walked up the ramp. Wyatt tried an attack, but Hardy kicked him and hit the Twist of Fate. The fans chanted “Delete” along with Hardy as Hardy’s music played.

Analysis: I think we can pencil in Hardy vs. Wyatt at the Elimination Chamber PPV on February 25.

Jason Jordan was backstage in the locker room. Seth Rollins showed up in an “Iowa’s Own” SR shirt. Rollins noted that Jordan had injuries and he wondered if he was healthy. Jordan said he was 100% good to go, he was cleared by his doctors and Jordan said Seth didn’t have to worry about him. Rollins told Jordan it’s about what they can do together and take back their Tag Team Titles.

Later on Raw: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Rollins & Jordan for the Raw Tag Team Titles, Strowman vs. Cena vs. Elias with the winner entering Elimination Chamber last.

This week on Mixed Match Challenge: Goldust & Mandy Rose vs. Jimmy Uso & Naomi. Check out my Mixed Match Challenge reviews right here updated every week.

(Commercial)

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were in the aisle. Their buddy Finn Balor, the leader of the Balor Club, made his entrance with the announcers putting over Balor’s match with John Cena last week.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder made their entrance with microphones in hand. Dawson said they are The Revival and as The Revival they are tag team specialists. Dawson suggested they make this a tag team match and Wilder said he likes that. Wilder told Balor to choose one of his Club buddies to be his partner. Anderson said he’ll be in the match, so Gallows is out of the ring.

Balor Club - Finn Balor & Karl Anderson (w/Luke Gallows) vs. The Revival – Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder

Dawson and Anderson did some good mat wrestling. Anderson with a hip toss on Wilder, Balor went in the ring and the Balor Club hit a double back body drop as the show went to break two minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Dawson had Balor grounded with an armbar because like I always say the heels are usually in control of a match when it returns from break. Balor fought out of the corner and tossed Dawson out of the ring. Wilder got the tag and drove Balor into the turnbuckle. Dawson slapped on an armbar on Balor that didn’t last that long as Balor nailed a double foot stomp. Wilder tagged in and Anderson got the tag with a running boot to Wilder followed by another kick in the corner. Anderson with a flying neckbreaker off the middle ropes. Dawson held onto Wilder during a whip into the ropes, Dawson tagged in and Anderson hit Dawson with a spinebuster for two as Wilder made the save. Balor got the tag as Anderson hit a dive onto Wilder on the floor. Balor with the Slingblade, dropkick sent Dawson into the turnbuckle and Balor hit a Coup de Gras on Dawson for the pinfall win. It went about 8 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Finn Balor & Karl Anderson

Analysis: ** Basic tag match. There wasn’t a moment where The Revival looked like they were going to win. I would have liked to see them looked better in that kind of setting. It was on the short side for a tag match on Raw. The finish was the usual three move sequence when Balor wins a match.

Later on Raw, Kurt Angle will reveal the five women that will challenge Alexa Bliss in the Elimination Chamber.

Asuka vs. Bayley is also coming up later.

There was a shot of Sasha Banks watching her loss to Asuka from last week’s Raw. Bayley showed up to talk to her saying that she’s watched it about 20 times. Banks was mad that she came so close to beating Asuka. Banks said she knows how to beat Asuka. Bayley asked if Banks had any tips. Banks said that she’ll keep it to herself. They mentioned the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber being every woman for herself while alluding to Banks eliminating Bayley in the Rumble. Banks said that she’s going to win Elimination Chamber. Banks asked Bayley if she thinks she can beat Asuka, Bayley said that she knows she can beat Banks (great matches in NXT), so if Banks is good enough then Bayley knows she is good enough. Bayley left while Banks looked grumpy about it.

Analysis: The dialogue in that promo was better than some of their segments, so at least that’s a positive. Little segments like that are necessary for Banks to turn heel and show how she’s not always nice to her “best friend” Bayley. I think they should have mentioned the point about Banks eliminating Bayley in the Royal Rumble a little more. I want Banks to turn heel. I think it should happen after she fails to win at Elimination Chamber.

(Commercial)

The cruiserweights were in the ring for a tag team match. The announcers are joined by the GM of 205 Live, Drake Maverick (the former Rockstar Spud).

Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak

Nese was in control against Alexander early on with a forearm. Gulak nailed a double axehandle. The announcers talked about the 16-man Cruiserweight Championship tournament with Drake talking about the surprises that will be a part of the tournament. Good double team move by the heels with Gulak nailing a clothesline while Alexander was on the ropes with Alexander landing hard on his right shoulder. Alexander hit a spinning back elbow. Ali got the hot tag to no reaction with forearms to Gulak, who was legal and Ali hit a dropkick. Ali with a back elbow and a Tornado DDT for a two count as Nese made the save. They dumped Nese out of the ring and Alexander nailed a somersault dive onto Nese on the floor. Ali off the top with a cross body block on Gulak for two. Gulak with a clothesline on Ali and Alexander tagged in with a clothesline off the top on Gulak. Alexander with a Lumbar Check on Gulak for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali

Analysis: *1/2 A quick tag match to put over the face team. The heels didn’t really look like they had a chance to win from the moment the match began. The crowd was dead for most of it aside from some the somersault to the floor by Alexander and the Lumbar Check by Alexander. Those are great moves.

Up next, Kurt Angle will reveal the women in the first-ever women’s Elimination Chamber match.

This week on Smackdown: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. My dudes. I can’t pick a winner. It’s too emotional for me. Not really, but you get the point. I hope Zayn wins leading to the WWE Title match against AJ Styles at Fastlane.

(Commercial)

Women’s Elimination Chamber Announcement

Kurt Angle, the General Manager of Raw, made his entrance to a good ovation as the fans chanted “you suck” at him.

Angle said last Sunday, history was made with the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Angle said it was an incredible match where Raw’s own Asuka was the winner. Angle said that on February 25th, the women’s evolution will make history again. Angle noted that at Elimination Chamber, Alexa Bliss will defend the Raw Women’s Title at Elimination Chamber. When Angle was about to say Elimination Chamber, he stumbled a bit because he probably forgot the name, but he got through it.

The six women in the Elimination Chamber match for the Raw Women's Championship: Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Mickie James, Sonya Deville and Sasha Banks. They revealed it with graphics on the screen.

Angle also made a match between Nia Jax and Asuka at Elimination Chamber. Angle said if Jax wins, she will be added to Asuka’s title match opportunity at WrestleMania to make it a triple threat. I think Angle said something about the Raw Women’s Title there, but Asuka could challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Title match as well. Angle just forgot that part.

Alexa Bliss went out to the ring to complain about how the women’s evolution should mean that women are equal to the men. Bliss complained about how Brock Lesnar isn’t in an Elimination Chamber, but she is. Bliss asked Angle if it’s because she’s just a woman? Angle said that Lesnar successfully defended his title at the Royal Rumble. Angle told her the last time she defended her title was at TLC in October. Bliss said that it’s not her fault because Kurt makes the matches, not her. Bliss asked Angle if he values Lesnar more than her. Bliss said Angle’s guilty of preferential treatment and she thinks that is sexist.

Angle said it never occurred to him to compare her to Brock. Angle said that he feels Bliss is trying to weasel her way out of the match. Angle said he will ask the audience. Angle asked the audience if they want to see Bliss defend the Raw Women’s Title in the first ever Elimination Chamber match. Fans chanted “yes” for that and Bliss said she’s the Raw Women’s Champion that deserves respect. Bliss left the ring and walked to the back looking mad. Angle asked again leading to more “yes” chants. Angle’s music played to end it as Bliss made angry faces.

Analysis: Good job by Bliss in the promo. I think her point about Lesnar not defending is something some fans will agree with, but Angle was right to point out that Lesnar defended his title at Royal Rumble and Bliss did not. The point about Bliss not defending since TLC also reflects how long it has been since a major title match for Bliss on a PPV, so that’s why it is okay for her to defend at Elimination Chamber while Lesnar is not. I think the reveal of the women in the match could have been a lot better. Why not get them on the stage or do something to make them stand out? This was so bland. It’s also bad news for Nia Jax to get Asuka instead of having a title match like the other five women.

John Cena did a cell phone promo about his match for later to get the sixth entrant spot in the Elimination Chamber. Cena was confident that he’s got this.

Cena vs. Strowman vs. Elias is later. The Miz will face Apollo Crews in a Qualifying Match for the Elimination Chamber match. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Rollins & Jordan for the Raw Tag Team Titles is also later.

A video aired about Asuka because she’s up next against Bayley.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Black History Month from when WWE stars visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

Asuka made her entrance to a nice ovation. Bayley made her entrance for the match.

Asuka vs. Bayley

There was a spot early on where Asuka was on the middle rope and Bayley hit a forearm that sent Asuka out of the ring. Bayley hit a headscissors takedown on Asuka on the floor. Asuka hit a running hip attack to knock Bayley off the apron onto the floor. Bayley sent Asuka into the barricade. Both women were down as the show went to break three minutes into the match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Bayley was in control with a waist lock. Asuka came back with forearms to the face, kick to the gut and a knee to the face by Asuka. Two more kicks from Asuka followed by a running hip attack followed by a sliding knee to the face for two. Asuka went up top, missile dropkick, Bayley moved and Bayley with a running kick to the head for two. Cole said it would be a “huge upset” even though Bayley has won the title on Raw. Bayley with a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist. Asuka was on the floor, Bayley charged at her and Asuka hit a rising knee lift to the face. Back in the ring, Asuka got a two count. Asuka with kicks to the chest, Bayley blocked a kick and a jackknife cover got a two count. Asuka blocked a Bayley to Belly and tried the Asuka Lock, but Bayley rolled through for a two count with Asuka barely kicking out. Asuka took down Bayley in the armbar and Bayley tapped out for the loss after 11 minutes.

Winner by submission: Asuka

There was a replay of a nearfall showing that Asuka did kick out in time.

Analysis: *** That was fun. Asuka is so awesome and Bayley did well too. It was an intense match with Asuka winning as expected. I like how aggressive Bayley was from the beginning. They did some good counters in there. I like that Bayley nearly won a couple of times because it makes Asuka look vulnerable a bit. If they got a few more minutes it would have helped, but I don’t mind that it ended how it did because it was fast paced for the most part.

Post match, Asuka and Bayley stood face to face in the ring. Asuka extended her hand for a handshake. Bayley shook her hand. Asuka left the ring first after the show of respect.

The Bar duo of Sheamus & Cesaro did a cell phone promo from earlier in the day talking about their title match against Rollins and Jordan.

The Miz vs. Apollo Crews in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match is up next.

A commercial aired for WWE Network plugging the new season of Ride Along and WWE Photo Shoot with wrestlers talking about their careers. The commercial also promoted 205 Live and WWE PPVs.

Analysis: That’s not a lot of content compared to what they used to do, but they did add old Coliseum Home Video content this week, which was not mentioned here.

(Commercial)

The Miz made his entrance with his Intercontinental Championship. Miz had Bo Dallas with him and no Curtis Axel this week.

Miz said the constellation in the sky will look a lot like Miz holding up the Intercontinental Championship. Miz said the stars have aligned because 2018 is the year of The Miz. The Miz said in his first match back on Raw, he regained the IC Title by defeating Roman Reigns on Raw 25 and Miz noted it was the highest rated Raw in three years with Miz taking credit for it. Miz bragged about how he beat Reigns again the very next week. Miz put over Reigns as one of the best of all time, yet he couldn’t contend with the overwhelming momentum that is Miz. Miz said he will win tonight and then go on to win Elimination Chamber to go on to face the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (he did a Paul Heyman impression for that last part).

Miz said that at WrestleMania, the cameras will be rolling for his new show Miz & Mrs and his daughter will witness the first ever Intercontinental and Universal Champion…The Miz.

Analysis: Good promo from The Miz like usual. He showed a lot of confidence there and that’s why Miz gets significant promo time every week.

Apollo Crews entered with Titus O’Neil and Dana Brooke as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match began during the break.

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil & Dana Brooke) vs. The Miz (w/Bo Dallas)

This is not for The Miz’s IC Title.

There were rollup attempts for each man early on. Miz sent Crews throat first into the top rope. Miz off the top and Crews hit a dropkick to knock him down. Miz hit a knee to the ribs of Crews. Crews with a press slam and he went for a standing moonsault, but Miz got his knees up to block it. Miz did a leg scissors around the ribs of Crews. Punches by Crews followed by a running kick to the head of Miz. Crews nailed a leaping clothesline followed by a kip up and an enziguri kick to the head for a two count. Miz sent Crews into the turnbuckle followed a corner clothesline, but Crews caught Miz and slammed Miz. Crews with a standing moonsault and a standing Shooting Star Press for two. That was impressive. Crews went to attack again, ref told him to get back, Miz kick to the knee and Crews rollup got a two count. Crews went for a move out of the corner, Miz countered by sending him into the ropes and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall win after 7 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: **1/2 That was a good match for the time given. I’m glad Crews got in a lot of offense and looked a credible opponent even though everybody watching knew Miz was going to win the match. Crews got about 80% of the offense, so that’s a way to make him look good without winning the match. I like when it’s booked that way. Good counter by Miz leading to the finish.

The win means that The Miz will join Roman Reigns, John Cena, Braun Strowman, Elias and one more man in the Raw Elimination Chamber match.

Analysis: Will Miz win? No. His name isn’t Roman Reigns.

There was a shot of Jason Jordan backstage with WWE Medical guy and GM Kurt Angle. Jordan said he was doing exercises, he hurt his neck and Jordan can’t compete in the match. Rollins asked Angle what should he do? Angle said forfeit the match. Rollins was frustrated, but then Roman Reigns walked up to them, Angle nodded that it was okay, so it looks like Rollins and Reigns are teaming up.

Analysis: No surprise that WWE is going to Reigns as Rollins’ partner. It makes sense. It also shows how thin the roster is now because Reigns is working twice in the show.

(Commercial)

The Bar duo of Sheamus & Cesaro walked out with the Raw Tag Team Titles for this title match. Sheamus & Cesaro were angry about the change to the match with the announcers talking about Jordan’s neck injury.

Seth Rollins got a big ovation from the fans in his home state of Iowa. Rollins grew up in and still lives in Davenport, Iowa, so it counts as his hometown since they are in Iowa.

Roman Reigns entered for his second match of the night to a mixed reaction like the first time he was out there. Cole noted that Reigns and Rollins were Tag Team Champions back in 2013 when they were in The Shield. That was also when Dean Ambrose was the US Champion that barely defended his title.

The four guys stood in the ring as ring announcer Jojo did the introductions.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar – Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins

Sheamus hit a shoulder tackle on Rollins and Rollins with a cross body block, so Cesaro tagged in. Cesaro worked over Rollins with a knee lift followed by an uppercut. Reigns got the tag with a double shoulder tackle on Cesaro. Rollins worked over Cesaro with a chop. Reigns tagged in with a boot to the face of Cesaro and Rollins hit a clothesline that sent Sheamus out of the ring. Rollins with a suicide dive on Sheamus, but Sheamus hit a backbreaker on Rollins. Cesaro uppercut on Reigns and Sheamus sent Reigns into the barricade as they went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from the break, Sheamus had Reigns grounded in a headlock. Cesaro tagged in leading to a double team clothesline from The Bar. Sheamus with a kick to Reigns followed by a Cesaro uppercut for two on Reigns. Rollup by Cesaro for two, Sheamus tagged in with a kick to the chest and Cesaro back as they hit the double team White Noise with Reigns kicking out at two. That move won the titles at the Royal Rumble, but no win here. Reigns hit a Samoan Drop on Cesaro. Sheamus tagged in, he knocked Rollins off the apron and Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Sheamus for a two count. Jason Jordan made his way down to ringside. Jordan encouraged Rollins to get on the apron. Rollins got the tag against Cesaro with a top rope clothesline followed by a Blockbuster off the second rope. Rollins suicide dive to Sheamus and a leg drop to Cesaro’s back. Rollins with a suicide dive on Cesaro, back in the ring and Rollins with a Slingblade for two with the crowd buying that as a nearfall. Rollins went for the Blackout, but Cesaro moved and hit an uppercut when Rollins was on the turnbuckle. Rollins with a suplex into a Falcon Arrow slam for two with the crowd buying that nearfall too. Fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Cesaro thumb to the eye while the ref was looking at Sheamus, but Jordan grabbed Cesaro’s foot leading to a rollup for Rollins. Rollins kicked Cesaro for a two count with Sheamus breaking it up. Reigns told Jordan to leave. Sheamus went for an attack off the top, but Rollins nailed a superkick. Cesaro saved Sheamus by pulling him out of the ring. Jordan stopped the champs from leaving and punched Cesaro, so the ref saw it and called for the disqualification. Cesaro & Sheamus win by disqualification after 14 minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Sheamus & Cesaro

Analysis: ***1/4 Very good match with an interesting finish that was very effective in terms of getting the heat on Jordan for losing the match for the challengers. It continues the story of Jordan being a screw up that accidentally does the wrong thing all the time. The work in the match was excellent with the champs tagging in and out a lot and building up to the spot with Rollins tagging in for the hot tag. The crowd was really into Rollins’ comeback by reacting to the nearfalls and chanting “this is awesome” for his exciting offense.

Post match, Rollins and Reigns were mad at Jordan for costing them the match. The crowd was booing Jordan.

Analysis: That’s likely the end of Seth Rollins working in tag matchesm which he has done for about six months. I’m fine with that. Put him in meaningful singles feuds. That’s better for him.

A replay aired from last week when Braun Strowman destroyed Kane.

Braun Strowman did a cell phone promo talking about being the last man standing last week on Raw, last man standing at Elimination Chamber and at WrestleMania as the last man standing. Strowman told Cena and Elias that nothing is going to stop him.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Jason Jordan backstage with Seth Rollins and Kurt Angle. Rollins called Jordan a selfish son of a bitch. Angle told Rollins that Jordan is legitimately hurt. Rollins said he regrets not hurting Jordan himself. Angle told Jordan to go home until he’s medically cleared.

Nia Jax made her entrance. A quick video aired about Nia saying she’s not like most girls.

Nia Jax vs. Some Girl With No Chance (Vanessa Floyd)

They mentioned the woman’s name, but I wasn’t paying attention. There was a dropkick by the smaller opponent, but Jax ran her over. Jax tossed her across the ring. Jax with a running splash in the corner followed by tossing the woman across the ring again. Jax with a press slam and she dropped the woman. Jax with the leg drop for the pinfall win after one minute because she’s got the power of Jaxamania, brother…or sister.

Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for Jax over a jobber.

Post match, Jax was interviewed in ring by Renee Young. Jax said she doesn’t fear Asuka like the other girls. Jax said that when she’s done with her, Asuka will wear the mask permanently. Jax said that Asuka will be the Empress of Yesterday instead of tomorrow.

Analysis: Simple heel promo from a confident Jax.

Triple threat match still to come.

(Commercial)

The Absolution trio made their entrance. It’s Sonya Deville in action with Paige and my favorite in the group, Mandy Rose.

Mickie James made her entrance alone to face off with Deville. Cole noted that Deville and Rose are best friends that live together, but they are against eachother in Elimination Chamber.

Mickie James vs. Sonya Deville (w/Paige & Mandy Rose)

Deville with a waist lock followed by a shove to the back, so James slapped her. Deville sent into the corner, James hit a punch to the nose and James hit a forearm with Cole thinking the nose may be broken. Deville was grabbing at her nose. James with a running kick for two. James with a headscissors out of the corner, but Rose went onto the apron for a distraction and Deville slammed James down. Deville with a kick to the back followed by a knee to the face of James. Deville with a knee to the face for two. Deville with a running knee to the ribs for two. James and Deville exchanged punches and James got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mickie James

Analysis: *1/2 There were some hard strikes in that match with Deville grabbing her nose a lot after Mickie punched her. Several stiff knees from Deville as well. I like that aggressive style and it’s not like every woman is going to be able to do that, but James is the best woman at selling, so it’s smart to put her in there with Deville like that. I’m glad Mickie got the win because she needs it. I figure the women in the Chamber match will trade wins going into the PPV.

Post match, Deville, Paige and Rose attacked James with stomps. Alexa Bliss went down to ther ing and pulled James out of the ring and helped her to the back. James was surprised by it.

Analysis: This will probably play into the story where Bliss think it’s us (the women) against them, so she’s going to be nice to the women she’s normally rivals with like James and perhaps Bayley and Banks as well in the next few weeks.

The triple threat is up next.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw is a second chance Fatal 4-Way to get in the Elimination Chamber: Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, Matt Hardy and Apollo Crews.

Analysis: That should mean Finn Balor gets in the Elimination Chamber. Last week people complained about his loss to Cena. It looks like there was a plan in place to still get Balor in the match, which is a good call by WWE.

Elias did his pre-match promo where he sang a song where he insulted the audience like usual. They cheered him a bit early, but then they booed him. Elias claimed he was going to be at halftime of the Super Bowl as well. Elias went on to sing about winning Elimination Chamber and facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, but John Cena’s music cut him off.

Analysis: The positive to Raw being such a long show at three hours is they always have time for Elias to do his singing gimmick for about five minutes nearly every week.

John Cena made his entrance and greeted Jonathon Coachman at the announce table. Good reaction for Cena. Mostly cheers for him.

Braun Strowman entered for the triple threat main event. It's the second triple threat match in eight days for Strowman since WWE loves triple threats.

Elias vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman

The winner of this match gets to the be the sixth entrant in the Elimination Chamber match, which gives them an advantage. A triple threat is one fall with no disqualifications or countouts.

Elias bailed to the floor. Strowman with a kick to Cena and the show went to break about 20 seconds into it.

(Commercial)

When the show returned from break, Strowman was in control. Cena and Elias were on the floor. Back in the ring, Cena with a shoulder tackle, Elias with a knee and a double clothesline sent Strowman out of the ring. Elias and Cena sent Strowman into the ring post. Cena and Elias worked together again to send Strowman into the steel steps at ringside. Cena hit Strowman with the top half of the steel steps. Elias hit Strowman in the back with a guitar shot. Cena picked up Strowman and hit the Attitude Adjustment onto the steel steps. Elias hit Cena in the back. Elias sent Cena back in the ring and got a two count. There were multiple replays of Cena hitting the AA on Strowman on the steel steps. Elias grabbed a headlock on Cena. Cena came back with the shoulder tackles and the spinning slam. Cena wanted the fist drop, but Strowman went into the ring. Strowman hit Cena with the Running Powerslam. Elias sent Strowman out of the ring. Elias covered Cena and won the match. It went about 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Elias

Analysis: **1/2 It was a basic triple threat match with Strowman getting isolated early on by getting taken out on the steel steps and of course he came back into the mix. Elias got the win by doing a finish that WWE loves to do where one man hits a finisher, the other man sends him out of the ring and he gets the win by pinning the guy that took the move. I’m not surprised by that at all because it gives Elias a credible win even though he stole the pin. Strowman has been in so many multiple man matches where he’s protected by somebody else taking the pin instead of him. We all know it’s coming, so it takes some of the drama out of the match.

The win means that Elias is going to enter sixth out of six among the men in the Elimination Chamber match.

Analysis: Is he going to win? No. His name isn’t Roman Reigns.

Post match, Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Cena. The fans wanted more, so Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Elias. Strowman celebrated even though he lost the match and Strowman’s music played as he stood over his fallen opponents.

Strowman celebrated his attacks. They stopped playing his music, so Strowman asked the crowd if they wanted more. Strowman picked up Cena and hit another Running Powerslam on him. Elias left the ring, so Strowman brought him back in the ring. Strowman hit another Running Powerslam on Elias.

Strowman’s music hit again and he left the ring looking strong because that’s what he does. Raw ended at 11:06pmET.

Analysis: Strowman was protected in the match by not being pinned and then he looked dominant after it was over.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Asuka
  3. Seth Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

2018 Average: 5.67

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5, 5.5, 5, 6

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

It was another wrestling heavy show like last week with not a lot of promos. They didn’t even do the usual opening promo. The action was pretty good for the most part with nothing that was that bad other than the short matches. The third hour dragged a bit and the main event was just average, so while I enjoyed most of the first two hours, you could tell the crowd was getting tired and the show slowed down a bit.

The good news is we learned 11 of the 12 names in the Elimination Chamber matches and we’ll find out the last man next week.

The next WWE Raw PPV is Elimination Chamber on February 25. Here’s what we know so far.

Men’s Elimination Chamber Match for a Universal Championship Match at WrestleMania: Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. The Miz and one other man

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Alexis Bliss vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks

Nia Jax vs. Asuka

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That's all for this week. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.

Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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