The WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view took place on Sunday night without a lot of surprises. Roman Reigns won the Men’s Chamber match as expected, Alexa Bliss retained her Raw Women’s Title in the first ever women’s Chamber match and Ronda Rousey’s first angle in WWE involving Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was set in motion. Next up for the Raw crew is WrestleMania on April 8, so let’s see what they have in store for us this week.
Live from Anaheim, California, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1292 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.
There were images shown from Elimination Chamber focusing on Braun Strowman’s dominance as he eliminated five men and then Roman Reigns beating Strowman to win the match leading to Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. It also included Strowman attacking Reigns after the match.
There was a shot of the live crowd in Anaheim. Coming up on Raw: Lesnar and Reigns go face to face. Also, Ronda Rousey will be there on Raw.
The highlights aired of the Rousey contract signing from Elimination Chamber including the part when Angle told Rousey what Stephanie McMahon and Triple H really think about Rousey. That led to Rousey putting Triple H through a table and Stephanie slapped Rousey.
Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance along with Mickie James. They were in ring gear as images aired from the Elimination Chamber with Bliss winning the match to retain her title.
The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman welcomed us to the show. They also went over images from Asuka’s win over Nia Jax and Jax attacking Asuka after the match.
Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
Bliss said that was a historic moment at Elimination Chamber and just when you thought it was impossible, Alexa amazed herself by winning the first ever Elimination Chamber match. Bliss said that people will talk about her victories forever and how Alexa Bliss changed the game then, now and forever. Bliss said that she’s not a selfish person and likes to give people credit when it’s due. Bliss said that Mickie James showed the world why she’s a 6-time Women’s Champion and a future Hall of Famer. Bliss told James that she has learned so much from her and that every woman in the locker room can learn from her too. Bliss mentioned Mandy and Sonya talking about how they have a very bright future, just not while Bliss is champion.
Bliss mentioned Sasha Banks and Bayley. Bliss said when it comes to Bayley, she is a sad situation. Bliss mentioned Sasha Banks and how it came down to the two of them and Bliss capitalized on Banks’ massive ego. Bliss said once she came to Monday Night Raw, it became her year, which is why she’s going to (sign point) WrestleMania. Bliss talked about how she’s going to break Asuka’s streak in six weeks at WrestleMania. Bliss said she hopes Asuka is okay after what Nia Jax did to her. Bliss said that at WrestleMania, she can’t wait to finish the job.
Asuka made her entrance showing no ill effects from the Jax attack and walked down to the ring with Bliss and James. Fans chanted “Asuka’s gonna kill you.”
Bliss said Asuka isn’t fooling any of us by making us think she was healthy. Bliss said she watched the match. Bliss said she thought Nia Jax would be added to the WrestleMania championship match where she deserved to be. Bliss said Jax deserves to be in the championship match and Asuka knows it. Bliss talked slowly to Asuka “I know your English is not great" and said she can see her body language. Fans booed the slow talking. Bliss told Asuka to wipe the smile off her face before “she” does.
Nia Jax’s music hit and Jax went down to the ring. Asuka kicked Bliss and punched James, but Jax went into the ring for an attack. Asuka countered a Jax slam attempt and slapped on an armbar, so James and Bliss went into the ring to go after Asuka. Bayley and Banks went down to the ring to save Asuka. Jax took out Bayley and Banks with a double clothesline. Bliss snuck up behind Asuka with a forearm to knock Asuka down. The trio of Bliss, Jax and James left together while Asuka, Banks and Bayley were down in the ring.
Analysis: Good promo from Bliss. The slow-talking thing that she did about Asuka got a lot of heat because it’s generally considered to be something that’s very rude to do and everybody knows it. That segment likely sets up a tag match, which is common for the opening segment. It would have been nice if they let Mickie speak to explain her alliance with Bliss, but she didn't say a word. I'm fine with Mickie in a heel role because it balances things out.
Still to come: Poor John Cena will have some things to say.
The six-woman tag match was made after the break.
Analysis: There was a 6-woman tag on Raw last week and on Smackdown as well. Three shows in a row! They are different women in this tag this week, but it’s still repetitive.
Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax & Mickie James vs. Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka
The heel side worked on Bayley early on for a few minutes. Banks tagged in with a double knee attack on Bliss for a two count. Banks rolled up Bliss for a two count. Banks caught Bliss with a knee to the face and then another double knee strike by Banks. Bliss left the ring, so James checked on her and Banks kicked both women down. Jax ran over Banks with a running shoulder tackle. Bliss worked over Banks in the ring as replays aired of Jax running over Banks. Bliss had the weakest looking headlock on Banks. Bliss kicked Banks out of the ring as the show went to break. It was pretty funny as Banks laid on the floor with a fan saying "why are you such a bad friend?" to her.
Back from break, the heel side worked over Banks in their corner with Jax hitting a headbutt. James tagged in with a running kick on Banks followed by a headlock. Bliss tagged in with her stomping on the back of the head. Graves said none of the women actually like eachother, it’s about a means to an end. Banks took down Bliss with a suplex. When Banks tried to tag Bayley, Bayley dropped to the floor. Big reaction to that. Asuka tagged in with the running hip attack on James, kicks to James and a knee to the face. Asuka hit a hard kick on James for a two count as Bliss broke up the pin. Bayley went into the ring with a suplex on Bliss. James went for a punch, Asuka grabbed her and Asuka slapped on an armbar on James leading to James tapping out. Asuka got the win for her team. It went about 12 minutes.
Winners by submission: Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka
Analysis: **3/4 Good work in a standard six-woman tag match. Like I said earlier, it’s the third one in the last week, so it felt repetitive due to that. It’s no surprise that Asuka got the win or that Mickie lost for her team because they wanted to protect the others. The most interesting part of the match was when Bayley dropped down to the floor when Banks tried to tag her in because Bayley didn’t like what Banks did at Elimination Chamber or the Royal Rumble. It’s not a heel turn by Bayley or Banks, but it’s a sign that something may be happening soon.
A clip aired of John Cena on Raw Talk after Elimination Chamber with Cena talking about how he may not have an opponent at WrestleMania, but he may have a plan. Cena said he'll figure it out.
Cena is up next.
Let’s Hear From John Cena
John Cena made his entrance with the crowd singing “John Cena sucks” for his entrance. I like to call him the sad millionaire during this run where he’s all serious about not knowing what he’s going to do at WrestleMania. Loud reaction for Cena like usual with a mix of cheers and boos. Cole called Cena “downtrodden” after the Chamber.
Cena: “Last night I failed.” Cena said in the moment of failure, he was thrown into a room, put in front of a microphone and he felt demoralized. Cena said failure was tough and judging by the people in the room, you can tell you go through failure alone. Cena said that your character is put to the test when your back is against the wall. Cena said that time is now. Cena said his last words last night were that he is going to figure it out and that’s his road to WrestleMania (sign point).
Cena pointed out how he failed at the Royal Rumble, he failed and he didn’t give up. Cena said at Elimination he failed, he thought it was over for about five minutes and this is why no other WWE superstar would say out loud for everybody to hear is that “I failed.” Some fans chanted “what” at him, so he stopped. Cena said the disappointment is your fault and you go through it alone. Cena said you either get down or get back up and Cena’s fired up because he’s figure it out.
Cena said he’s going to stand in this ring and do something he should have done a long time ago…and that is put out a WrestleMania challenge to The Undertaker. Huge cheers for that.
Cena was fired up talking about how they have competed in 39 WrestleManias, but they have not faced off at a WrestleMania. Cena said that match is not happening because he doesn’t make the matches. Cena claimed he was told that the match isn’t happening because the match isn’t possible. Cena spoke about how now we all understand the disappointment of failure. Cena said he is there to get back up. Cena spoke about how his road to WrestleMania will take him to Smackdown tomorrow night since he’s a free agent. Cena said that he’ll go to Smackdown to do whatever it takes to earn a spot at WrestleMania.
Analysis: Great promo like usual from Cena especially this time of year. The crowd response to Cena/Taker idea was really strong and it’s going to happen even though Cena said it won’t happen. The story will likely be that they believe that Undertaker is retired. They can use Cena doing promos for weeks, then have Taker answer it one week and it’s on. This has been rumored for months and where there’s smoke there is fire. It will probably official within a few weeks. There’s no rush.
Analysis x2: The Cena story will likely lead to him facing Shinsuke Nakamura at Fastlane on March 11. That's the rumor and it makes sense since Nakamura has nothing for Fastlane. I assume they will do an angle on Smackdown tonight with Cena there where he gets the match with Nakamura and they can say if he wins he gets added to WWE Title match at WrestleMania. I'd expect Nakamura to win that, so the next night on Raw March 12 that's when you have Undertaker say he accepts Cena's challenge for WrestleMania because Cena vs. Taker is the plan. Once again, I don't know if that's a sure thing, but I saw Raj Giri of WrestlingInc claim he heard it from a reliable source and others have talked about it too. It makes sense.
Still to come is Lesnar and Reigns.
This week on Mixed Match Challenge: Balor and Banks vs. Miz and Asuka. That should be a win for Miz and Asuka, who I think will win the whole thing.
Bray Wyatt vs. Heath Slater…not really
Wyatt knocked Rhyno off the apron. Wyatt with a running cross body block on Slater to knock him down. The ref was outside the ring and the bell never rang. Wyatt did his crab walk towards Slater followed by a corner clothesline. Wyatt pulled Slater out of the corner, he danced with him and hit the Sister Abigail.
Replays aired of what happened with Cole telling us that Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Rhyno as well. So why did they go to replays so early?
Wyatt did a promo sitting against the turnbuckle. Wyatt said that Matt Hardy made him do this and led them to slaughter. Wyatt told Hardy he will face me again. Fans were chanting “delete” at him. Wyatt said that this time, Hardy’s woken eyes will stay shut forever. Wyatt told Matt he’s coming for him and a “run” ended it.
Analysis: That feud is continuing? Yawn. It’s not working. Move on, boys.
The Miz was shown backstage and he’s up next at the top of the hour.
There was another video of Ronda Rousey’s segment at Elimination Chamber. That’s the second time in an hour where they showed that.
Analysis: They pay her a lot of money, so they really want people to see what happened.
Let’s Hear from The Miz
The Miz, the Intercontinental Champion, made his entrance with his Miztourage buddies Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas by his side. Miz was in his wrestling gear, so there’s an impromptu match coming.
The Miz ripped on Anaheim for being a bona fide suburb of Los Angeles to get some heat on the crowd. Miz talked about how Kurt Angle takes his stars for granted. Miz said that in 62 days, he’ll be the longest reigning IC Champion of all time. Miz said there will be no argument because he’ll be the greatest IC Champion of all time. Miz mentioned other former IC Champions like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Edge and Roman Reigns saying he’ll be the best IC Champion ever. Miz plugged his movies as well as the USA Network show about his life "Miz and Mrs." He repeated his show name and told the fans to cheer, but the fans booed. Miz said the ones booing will be watching it anyway, so he doesn’t care. That was funny.
Miz talked about how he’s the champion, but he has no merchandise and his face isn’t on promotional material. Miz said he should be going to the main event of WrestleMania taking on Brock Lesnar to become the first ever Intercontinental and Universal Champion. Miz complained about how Kurt Angle forced him to start the Elimination Chamber match against two men that shouldn’t have been in there in the first place – Finn Balor and Seth Rollins. Miz complained about being punished. Miz talked about how he is sick of being taken for granted and he is sick of the disrespect. Miz said that his dream will live on at WrestleMania because he has the IC Title. Miz held up the title and told the fans to take a look at that title because it’s the most prestigious and honorable title in all of WWE.
Miz said since he has that prestigious title, he walked into Kurt Angle’s office and he wants to know what he’s doing at WrestleMania. Miz asked the fans if they want to know what he’s doing at WrestleMania, but they barely reacted. Miz claims that Angle told Miz that his opponent tonight might determine who he faces at WrestleMania. Miz whined about that saying he’s carried Raw for the last year and he’s made that title more relevant than the Universal Championship. Miz yelled about how he’s been there for 12 years and “might” is all you’re going to give him? Miz said that whoever comes out is going to get a beating and he doesn’t care who it is, so who is it?
It was Seth Rollins wearing his “Monday Night Rollins” shirt. Great reaction for him. The show went to break there.
Analysis: Great promo from The Miz like usual. A lot of his schtick is repetitive, but he delivers it well and I enjoy his promos. He’s the best talker in WWE right now among the wrestles with only Paul Heyman topping him or coming close.
The bell rang as they returned from the break.
Seth Rollins vs. The Miz (w/Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)
This is not for the Intercontinental Title held by The Miz.
Rollins was in control early with a shoulder block followed by a running knee and a clothesline that sent Miz out of the ring. Rollins ran the ropes for a dive, but Miz moved out of the way thanks to Axel and Dallas helping him. Rollins went after Miz on the floor and punched him. Rollins rolled Miz back into the ring. Rollins was on the apron, Dallas distracted Rollins and Miz punched Rollins off the apron. Miz sent Rollins face first into the barricade. Miz rolled him back into the ring. Miz was in control with his “it” kicks to the chest of Rollins with the last one not connecting like usual and Rollins got a rollup for a two count. Rollins with chops on Miz. Rollins charged in and Miz hit a back body drop to send Rollins out of the ring four minutes into the match.
Back from break, Rollins got the momentum back with a clothesline off the top rope followed by a Blockbuster off the ropes for a two count. Miz came back by sending Rollins into the ropes and Miz hit his snap DDT for a two count. Miz with two dropkicks on Rollins against the turnbuckle followed by the corner clothesline from Miz. When Miz went up top, Rollins tripped him up to crotch him. Rollins nailed a superplex followed by a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. The crowd thought that was it because Rollins had a burst of energy leading up to it. Rollins ran the ropes, Axel grabbed his foot (ref didn’t see it) and Rollins managed to counter Miz into a rollup for two. Rollins hit a suicide dive on Axel and Dallas. Rollins clothesline sent Miz out of the ring. Rollins with a suicide on Miz and friends. Rollins hit the Revolution Knee to the face of Miz. With Miz about 3/4 of the across the ring, Rollins hit a Frog Splash. He didn’t get all of it, but he got most of it. Rollins pinned Miz to win the match after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a good match as usual any time guys of the caliber of Rollins and Miz are involved. Having a champion lose non-title is typical WWE booking to build up a title contender. The pace really picked up when Rollins hit that impressive Superplex/Falcon Arrow combo with the fans buying into it as the potential finish. Miz didn’t really come close to winning at any point because Rollins was booked strong to put him over in a big way. The Frog Splash win is fine because it’s a cool move, but Miz was probably too far away. I understand wanting to put over Seth’s athleticism for it. They should have had Miz move over a few inches to make it more doable. That’s a small complaint, though. I liked the match a lot.
After the match was over, Finn Balor’s music hit and he was in his ring gear. Rollins was not happy about Balor going down to the ring to steal Seth’s moment. Rollins went up the ramp as Balor was in the ring and the show went to break.
Analysis: It looks like a 3-way feud for the IC Title at WrestleMania. Perhaps a 4-way if they want to get Elias involved as well.
They returned from break with the ref ringing the bell for Balor vs. Miz.
The Miztourage guys attacked Balor leading to the ref throwing the match out before it could begin. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up to take care of The Miztourage.
Kurt Angle showed up on the video wall. Angle said that Gallows/Anderson and the Miztourage were ejected from ringside. Angle told Miz he had to do this match against Balor and if he doesn’t do the match then he’s going to be out of WrestleMania.
Finn Balor vs. The Miz
This is not for the Intercontinental Title held by The Miz. Can you guess the outcome? I think everybody can.
Miz was aggressive early as he dumped Balor out of the ring. The announcers were bickering about the situation with Cole wondering what would happen if Balor won this match as if this company doesn’t do triple threat matches all the time. Miz hit a running knee to Balor’s face as they went to break three minutes into it.
Back from break, Miz had Balor in a headlock as Rollins was shown watching on a TV backstage. Balor broke free with an overhead kick that knocked down Miz. Balor with running forearms on Miz, double stomp to the chest by Balor and hard chop to the chest of Balor. Graves was whining about how this isn’t fair to Miz. There was a boot to the face by Miz, but Balor kicked him and elbow drop to the chest by Balor got a two count. Balor countered a Skull Crushing Finale attempt into a pinfall for two and Miz hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for a two count. Balor worked over Miz with kicks to the chest followed by a running dropkick for a two count. Miz rolled to the floor. Balor chased after Miz and hit a dropkick that sent Miz into the barricade. Balor with a Slingblade followed by the dropkick that sent Miz into the corner. Balor went up top and hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp on Miz for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with an obvious outcome where Miz lost non-title for the second time in the same night. It’s like I said earlier about WWE loves doing that to set up title matches. This match was not as good as the Rollins/Miz match because it felt repetitive and a little heavy on the Balor dropkicks. I know he loves doing them, but it felt like more than normal. Miz wrestled for about 24 minutes. The announcers said it was over 30 minutes, but there was plenty of inactivity in there too.
Seth Rollins was interviewed backstage. Rollins said he wants to face The Miz at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Title. Graves continued his whining about this isn’t fair for Miz.
A clip aired of Stephanie McMahon on Raw Talk talking about Ronda Rousey to set up a segment on Raw.
Ronda Rousey was backstage in the office with Kurt Angle.
Roman Reigns is up next as we near the top of hour three.
The video aired about WrestleMania taking place in 41 days.
Let’s Hear From Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns made his entrance to a mix of cheers and boos with Michael Cole yelling about how he’s “THE BIG DOG” like usual and that Reigns is headed to the main event of WrestleMania. The graphic displayed Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania.
Reigns said he’s a man of his word, so when he says he’s going to WrestleMania to beat Brock Lesnar he’s telling the truth. The crowd was booing him more than cheering him. Reigns said “truth” is a funny word and he said he didn’t know why he was covering for this guy. Reigns said that Brock Lesnar’s not there tonight. Reigns said that up to 30 minutes ago, something happened and Brock’s not there. Reigns said that Lesnar is an entitled piece of crap that hides behind his contract. Reigns added that Lesnar was in Las Vegas on Sunday, but he wasn’t there because he was in Vegas taking pics with Dana White of the UFC.
Reigns ranted about how he and the roster are there every week busting their ass while Lesnar shows up when he wants. Reigns said he didn’t care what city they were in or how big the town was because he’s there since he said he would be there. Reigns talked about how he was born in this business, he is this business and he was taught at an early age that there’s a fine line between business and respect. Reigns added that he doesn’t respect Brock Lesnar and “I damn sure don’t fear that bitch.” Reigns said he thinks he’s said enough. Reigns said he’ll go to the back, take his ass chewing like a man because unlike some people, he cares about this place. Reigns walked up the ramp to end the promo.
Analysis: Outstanding promo from Reigns. One of the best of his career. He tried to appeal to the fans about how hard he works and Lesnar only shows up for the money. Fans didn't back him, but it felt like an authentic promo. It was very interesting that they hyped up Reigns/Lesnar face to face and didn’t do it because of what Reigns said. I think it’s smart to build up “heat” between them with Reigns talking as the guy that’s there every week against Lesnar being there for the money only. There’s a lot of truth in what Reigns said, so that’s why people are going to react to it. I like that WWE is going to try to make Lesnar more of an "outsider" type heel that doesn't love the business and Reigns is there all the time, so that will appeal to some fans. I thought Reigns did a great job with it.
Braun Strowman did a quick promo about a match with Elias coming up later.
There was a video about Black History month.
The Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus and Cesaro aka The Bar made their entrance for a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Titus O’Neil and Apollo entered with Dana Brooke for this match with Cole explaining that Angle made this 2 out of 3 falls.
Raw Tag Team Championships 2 out of 3 Falls: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Titus O’Neil & Apollo (w/Dana Brooke)
Cesaro distracted Titus, which caused Titus to turn his back and when he turned back around, Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Titus and pinned him after about ten seconds of match time.
Sheamus & Cesaro lead 1-0
Apollo with a cross body block off the middle ropes onto Cesaro for a two count. Three more two counts by Apollo followed that, so Cesaro decked Apollo with a punch. Apollo with a dropkick on Sheamus. O’Neil tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Cesaro. Hard chops by Titus on Cesaro. Apollo with a shoulder tackle to Cesaro and an elbow drop for two. Double team shoulder tackle by Titus and Apollo on Cesaro. O’Neil with a hard whip that sent Cesaro into the turnbuckle. Apollo with a press slam on Cesaro followed by a standing SSP for a two count. Apollo with a dive that took out Sheamus and Cesaro on the floor.
Back from break, Apollo was being worked over by the heels when Apollo hit a back body drop to send Cesaro out of the ring. Apollo avoided a Sheamus move and a hot tag to Titus. Punches and chops by Titus on Sheamus in the corner followed by a toss across the ring. O’Neil with a powerslam followed by a running splash in the corner and a clothesline on Cesaro. O’Neil picked up Sheamus and slammed him face first. It looked sloppy and got a two count. Apollo tagged in with a Frog Splash for two as Cesaro broke up the pin. Titus sent Cesaro out of the ring. Apollo with a rollup on Sheamus too. Apollo with an enziguri on Sheamus followed by a standing moonsault for two. Titus with a clothesline on Cesaro. Sheamus sent Titus into the barricade. Apollo jumped over the top to take out Sheamus on the floor. Apollo up top, Cesaro distraction and Sheamus knocked down Apollo. Sheamus picked up Apollo, Cesaro tag and double team White Noise won it for the champs. It went about 12 minutes.
Sheamus & Cesaro win 2-0
Winners by pinfall: Sheamus & Cesaro
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match that put an end to this rivalry. I thought that maybe Apollo would get a fall for his team. Nope. It was a win to put over the champs as a dominant team. I would say it’s rare to end a 2/3 falls match two to zero, but they did it with The Usos and Gable/Benjamin at the Royal Rumble too, so it’s something WWE must like doing now.
Sheamus and Cesaro were interviewed in the ring by Charly Caruso. They said they had Titus Worldwide’s number, which was zero. They bragged about their wins over tag teams like The New Day, The Hardys, Rollins/Ambrose and they mentioned what they did to Jason Jordan with Cesaro asking “who?” Sheamus said everybody wants to be a part of WrestleMania, but he feels like they will be punished because they are so dominant. Sheamus asked who is there to face if there’s no one left to beat. Cesaro ended it saying we don’t just set The Bar, we are The Bar. They celebrated the win.
Analysis: The lack of opponents is a real problem for WWE right now. The only face team that could really be considered contenders are Gallows and Anderson. Another option is the Hardy Boyz if Jeff Hardy is ready soon, which he might be because I've read that he is close. The Revival are a heel team, so they wouldn’t fit unless there’s a multi-team match and we know WWE loves doing those at WrestleMania.
There was a video about Jarrius Robertson being honored at the WWE Hall of Fame with the Warrior Award. He’s a huge WWE fan that had a liver disease. His parents spoke about how he was in a coma for a year and the parents even made funeral arrangements, but then Jarrius started breathing on his own. A doctor talked about how he was in pain and he wasn’t growing. Jarrius spoke about it and he’s 15 years old now in high school. Jarrius had a second liver transplant. There were clips of with celebrities and how he has set out to inspire people.
Analysis: I’ve seen clips of Darrius for years on WWE programming and with sports stars. He’s from the New Orleans area, so he’s a hometown boy that will be honored at the Hall of Fame. He’s got a great personality and it’s cool that WWE is honoring him.
Braun Strowman vs. Elias is up next.
Elias was in the ring for his pre-match song routine. Elias talked about how last night didn’t go as he had planned. Elias did his bit about what WWE stands for with the fans chanting “Walk With Elias” for him. Elias said he was not going to treat himself to a performance, but then he heard Braun Strowman called his music noise pollution. Elias said that Strowman criticized him because Strowman wants to be Elias. Elias said Strowman playing that cello two weeks ago was noise pollution, Corey Graves talking is noise pollution and he ripped on the fans while telling them to shut their mouths. Elias sang about how he’s going to make Strowman than the people of Anaheim. Strowman’s music played to interrupt Elias.
Braun Strowman entered to a huge ovation like usual. The show went to break as Strowman went into the ring.
The bell rang after the break.
Braun Strowman vs. Elias
Strowman tossed Elias across the ring leading to Elias bailing to the floor. They did a spot where Elias ran away again, Strowman chased after him and they went back in the ring, Strowman decked Elias with a clothesline. Double axe to the chest by Strowman and he tossed Elias across the ring again. Strowman with a running splash against the turnbuckle. Strowman with a stiff clothesline on Elias with Coachman calling Strowman a special and unique superstar. Strowman kicked Elias in the ribs followed by a headbutt. Strowman punched Elias in the chest to knock him down again. Elias stunned Strowman by sending him into the top rope followed by a double axe off the top by Elias, but Strowman knocked him out of the ring again. Strowman whipped Elias into the barricade two times. Strowman followed Elias out of the ring. Elias went under the ring, but Strowman pulled him out. Elias had a fire extinguisher in his hands. Elias sprayed Strowman with the fire extinguisher, so the ref called for the bell. It went five minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Braun Strowman
Analysis: *1/2 It was a dominant performance from Strowman that was done to set up the cheap finish with Elias running away the whole match. When Elias got his hands on the fire extinguisher, he was able to avoid getting beat. It will likely set up a future match between them, but I don’t see this as a WrestleMania match.
They went back in the ring with Elias hitting Strowman in the ribs with the fire extinguisher. Strowman hit Elias with an uppercut punch to knock him out of the ring. Strowman left the ring and hit Elias in the back with a punch. They went over to the announce table. Strowman wanted to slam Elias through the announce table, but Elias gouged his eyes and Strowman was grabbing his eyes because of the fire extinguisher that was sprayed in his eyes.
Elias ran away to the back. Strowman went after him and chased him back there, but Elias was able to get away. Elias was too far away, so Strowman yelled: “I’m not finished with you.” That’s his catchphrase. Strowman was in the parking lot as a limo pulled up to the arena. Strowman stumbled away as the show went to break.
Analysis: They will probably have another match on Raw next week with Strowman getting the more decisive win. It was reported that Kane was backstage at Raw, so I figured he would attack Strowman, but that didn’t happen. Maybe next week. It’s possible WWE does Strowman vs. Kane at WrestleMania because I doubt Strowman will be added to Lesnar vs. Reigns.
This week on Smackdown: John Cena heads to Smackdown.
Next week on Raw: Asuka vs. Nia Jax in an Elimination Chamber rematch.
Let’s Hear From Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
Triple H’s music hit as Hunter the Chief Operating Officer and his wife Stephanie McMahon, the Raw Commissioner, made their entrances. Hunter was in a suit.
Stephanie started the promo talking about how Kurt Angle was hallucinating in the middle of the ring where Stephanie claimed that Kurt had “double pneumonia” and that led to Rousey taking action, which may be welcome in MMA and is not tolerated in WWE.
Another replay of the Rousey segment from Elimination Chamber was shown.
Analysis: That’s the third time they aired Rousey footage from Elimination Chamber. They are really pushing it hard.
Stephanie ranted about how they own Ronda Rousey because she’s a part of WWE now. Stephanie called out Kurt Angle.
Ronda Rousey made her entrance with an angry look on her face. Triple H and Stephanie left the ring. Kurt Angle went out to the ring to try to calm Rousey down.
Angle told Rousey that coming to WWE was a great decision. Rousey said she has never been slapped before, she refuses to be disrespected and she is no one’s property. Rousey stared at Stephanie when she said it. Angle told Rousey that he really needs this job, but he admitted that he lied. Angle claimed he had pneumonia for the past couple of weeks and the statements he made were not true. Angle said “I’m sorry” twice.
Stephanie and Hunter were back in the ring. Stephanie said they are not horrible people. Stephanie said they should work together to help make Ronda the superstar she should be.
Rousey said they addressed everything except for the slap. Ronda told Stephanie to apologize for the slap and if she doesn’t apologize then Ronda will rip her arm out of its socket. Fans chanted “rip it off.” Stephanie said that she is terribly sorry and she reacted after Rousey put her husband through a table. Stephanie said she is so sorry. Stephanie thanked Kurt and welcomed Ronda to WWE. Triple H and Stephanie were going to leave the ring when Triple H punched Angle to knock him down. Triple H left. Rousey checked on a fallen Angle in the ring. Triple H’s music played.
Triple H and Stephanie left up the ramp. Rousey helped Angle to his feet and that’s how Raw ended at 11:09pmET.
Analysis: It was a decent segment to end the show. Rousey was a lot better here than at Elimination Chamber because she was serious from the beginning and she looks like a badass. The fans chanting “rip it off” about Stephanie’s arm is exactly the kind of reaction WWE wants with the fans supporting Rousey. The part about “Angle has had pneumonia” for weeks is pretty silly, but it’s a way to keep the story going. I really didn't miss Stephanie McMahon promos. She's not a bad talker by any means. I just don't care for McMahon-aMania season running wild this time of year every year because it’s so repetitive.
The cheap punch by Triple H sets the stage for this mixed tag team match that will have a slow build and likely be announced within a week or two. If they go with Angle and Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie like I expect they can do the stipulation that if Angle loses he is fired, so he has something to fight for.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Miz
- Roman Reigns
- Seth Rollins
6.5 out of 10
2018 Average: 6.22
Last 5 Weeks: 8, 7.5, 6.5, 6, 5
2018 High: 8 (February 19)
2018 Low: 5 (January 8)
I give it a 6.5 out of 10.
It’s promo season because there sure was a lot of talking this week after not much last week. That’s just how it goes during WrestleMania season.
I thought Roman’s promo ripping on Lesnar was the highlight of the show. He delivered it with a lot of intensity and it was very believable. He also said things that a lot of fans think about Lesnar, so there was truth to it. Those are usually the best kinds of promos.
The Miz got my second star because of two matches for nearly 30 minutes. The Rollins match was the better of the two as I mentioned earlier.
The Rousey angle at the end was fine although you can tell they are going to take their time with the story. There’s no rush to announce the WrestleMania match.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) February 27, 2018
The next PPV featuring Raw talent is WrestleMania 34 on April 8. Here’s what we know so far.
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
That's all for this week. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.
Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs.
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