Hello Everybody and welcome to another edition of a Sovereign Statement. Raw has had a good start to 2019 with quality matches and storytelling. Obviously, this week’s Raw was going to have some implications because Becky Lynch was set to appear. Without further ado, let us dive into the first Raw of February.
The Man & Stephanie McMahon
This is a hot way to start Raw and the pops Becky Lynch gets when her music hits are the biggest since Daniel Bryan during the height of the “Yes Movement”. Becky is simply on another level right now and she proves it every single week. Stephanie saying that she hasn’t seen someone stand toe-to-toe with Ronda and smile gave me a chuckle knowing that Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes didn’t crack when they faced off with her. Becky and Stephanie had some good back and forth with one another and it seems like they are digging into the Vince/Austin stuff a bit for this. I do find it a bit odd that they are pushing this whole injury angle on Becky because it isn’t one that is usually played up as much. Stephanie threatened suspension if Becky doesn’t agree to go see a doctor and when Becky said she wouldn’t, Stephanie went on with the suspension. Becky then attacked Stephanie, and this had that Austin/Vince feel to it.
The Man & Ronnie Backstage
I know some people liked Ronda here, but I didn’t like her much here. The script was good, but her delivery was very robotic to me. I do love that Becky just smiles and doesn’t flinch when Ronda tries to intimidate her. Also, Ronda criticizing Becky about attacking Stephanie is hilarious to me considering she has attacked Stephanie on multiple occasions.
Ronda Rousey vs Liv Morgan
The match started and then it was over just as fast. Seems like Liv is the jobber of the Riott Squad and she didn’t have any offense in this squash match. Ronda got on the mic after and challenged Sarah Logan from the Riott Squad after the match and she accepted. Ronda’s delivery was very robotic again here and it reminds me as to why Hollywood didn’t work out for her much.
Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Logan
This was much more of a match than the Liv Morgan one was but that isn’t saying much. This was more than a squash match but not by much. Ronda defeated Logan shortly after coming back from the commercial break and we got a tease of Ruby Riott stepping up to face Ronda. She chose not to and explained when she got to Gorilla that she was going to tend to her Riott Squad members instead.
Boss Huggers Backstage
This felt like it would be a pretty standard backstage interview with Sasha and Bayley until Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross showed up. I know Fox does crazy well, but Nikki is on a totally different level. She actually made Fox look a bit normal and made this backstage interview all the more fun. If WWE continues to let Nikki Cross be what we saw in NXT, she can become one of the most over people on whichever brand she ends up on.
Four Corner Tag Team Match
This match was to determine who would be next in line to face Olympic Glory and the match itself was okay. The problem I had with the match was that it was fairly predictable given the participants. It is too early for Heavy Machinery to be number one contenders since they aren’t on a brand officially yet. The B Team are back to being jobbers, so they had no chance and the Lucha House Party, while great workers, seemed to have cooled off in recent weeks. So that left the Revival as the only viable winners and they would pick up the win here. I am guessing that whenever the Revival face off against Olympic Glory that that will be when they pick up the tag team titles.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins Backstage
I loved the passion we got from these two here and they sold the lack of respect they have been given very well. Ryder mentioned WWE misspelling his name on the graphic last week and this feels like they are building something here with them. They have really good chemistry with one another and I wouldn’t mind if we got to see them win the tag titles one more time.
Kurt Angle In-Ring
Kurt Angle made his way down to the ring to reveal what his plans were after suffering so many losses in recent weeks. He started to tease a possible retirement when Baron Corbin made his way out. Corbin has become absolute slime and he plays it perfectly. He was then joined by Drew McIntyre and he just oozes everything you need to be the best. I know I have said that just about every week, but it is darn true. I could see McIntyre becoming the Universal champion by Summerslam, if not possibly sooner. McIntyre agreed with everything Corbn said about Angle needing to go away and it looked like they were going to double team Angle in a beatdown, but Braun Strowman came down to save Angle. This was the set up for the main event as Strowman and Angle would team up to take on Corbin and McIntyre.
Black History Month Tribute
WWE always does a good job in highlighting things for Black History Month. It is powerful to hear the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how those words are as relevant today as they were back then. We should all strive to be better people and not judge anybody by race, religion, gender or anything else. Well done WWE, well done.
Boss Huggers vs Team Cray Cray
Right when Bayley and Sasha were making their entrances, Alicia Fox and Nikki Cross didn’t waste any time in getting the upper hand. They attacked them on the entrance ramp and it was a rather thorough beating. I liked the viciousness that was shown here, and it would play into their match. The match itself was fun and had Bayley do all the work for her team. Sasha did well in selling the beating as she was barely able to pull herself onto her team’s corner. It looked like Nikki and Fox would be able to pick up the easy win after that beating, but Bayley played the resilient role very well here. Sasha pulled Bayley away from the ring post on the outside that caused Nikki to crash into it. Bayley then rolled up Fox for the win and the Boss Huggers qualify for the Elimination Chamber match.
Apollo Crews Backstage
Apollo seems to be his best when he lets his humor come and it showed again here. He was in the middle of a backstage interview when Drake Maverick and Rezar showed up. Looks like we may be getting a feud between these two while Akam is out with injury.
Jeff Jarrett vs Elias
JJ looks like he is having a ball being back in the WWE and I can’t blame him. It looked like he would never be able to come back, and you can just see the joy on his face every time he’s out there. It was fun to have Road Dogg back with him as those two play off one another very well. Elias and JJ had some promo time before the match and Elias looks refreshed as a heel. The match itself was okay and saw Elias pick up the win. Road Dogg and Elias fought each other after the match and Road Dogg got the better of him. JJ then cracked Elias with a guitar, but the guitar did not break. That had to have hurt, and Elias looked like he was doing more than selling after that. I still believe this is leading to a Guitar on a Pole match between these two.
Natalya & Dana Brooke Backstage
I enjoy that they are giving these two a story, but I don’t see what the endgame is with this. It as pretty obvious that it would get revealed that Nattie was wearing headphones and that is what happened. Looks like we are getting a match between these two next week and maybe have a better idea where this is all going.
Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley?
This was supposed to be Finn vs Lashley but Lashley didn’t feel like Finn had earned it yet. Lio has a swagger about him that has seemed to have rubbed off on Lashley. Lashley and Lio were good here in their promo prior to the match and Lashley changed it to Finn vs Lio Rush. This was a very fun match and I wonder what these two could do when given proper time for a proper match. Finn picked up the win here to continue to build on his momentum that he has had over the last few months.
A Moment of Bliss
EC3 finally made his way from the back and out to the crowd and you can just sense an aura of something good about him. I love that Alexa played up how good he looks and didn’t do it in an overly creepy way. Before EC3 could get a word out, Nia Jax and Tamina came out for reasons. It seems like they will always interrupt a Moment of Bliss and they didn’t add much here. Dean Ambrose then came out and absolutely stole the segment. When he said that Nia had a huge crush on him and Renee saying “oh” on announce was perfect. I was absolutely dying when he asked EC3 “Where Are EC 1 & 2?” and of course EC3 wouldn’t let that stand. This would lead to a match between the two that would be up next.
EC3 vs Dean Ambrose
This was EC3’s first televised match on the main roster and I really don’t know how to feel about it. The match itself was just okay and it really should be more than that. Maybe it has to do with the reports of Ambrose leaving and maybe he isn’t putting his complete all out there or they just didn’t click very well. EC3 would pick up the win with a jackknife cover and the reaction from the crowd was meh. WWE needs to let the man talk because that will get the crowd behind him and garner a reaction to his matches and promos.
Kurt Angle Backstage
This was kept short and sweet and did what it was intended to do. It really seems like we are getting and “Old Man Angle” story here and I feel like it will culminate at Wrestlemania in his final match. Angle did a good job listing the destruction Strowman has done and Strowman did much of the same.
Mojo Rawley Talking to Himself
Outside of the intensity Mojo is bringing to this, what in the world is this all leading to? I don’t see where he fits right now on Raw and this feels like something out of left field. I am curious indeed but also have no clue what this is all leading to.
Kurt Angle & Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre
The only way I could describe this match is meh. This match did nothing for me and was a very meh way to close out Raw. The match itself wasn’t bad but it just didn’t grab me like any of the other matches tonight. Angle seems like he is only capable of hitting his signature moves and that makes me a bit sad. McIntyre and Corbin seem to have to really try harder when they were in the ring with him compared to when they were in ring with Strowman. The match ended in a rather odd way with Strowman getting disqualified for not returning to his corner when he entered to break up the action. Seems like WWE is using the forgotten rule of that the legal man can be saved just once during any match, if, after that, it happens again the ref will call for DQ. Corey Graves stated that this rule is now in effect. Now whether they stick to it weekly is something that we will have to wait and see with.
Raw started off hot but it seemed to cool down and be hit and miss for the most part. The highlights for me were definitely the opening segment with Becky and Charlotte and the Moment of Bliss segment. The Ryder and Hawkins backstage segment was another highlight for me as was the Finn and Lio Rush match. The low points for me were the Mojo promo and the Ronda matches. I will echo was Queen said during the DD that Ronda needs new ring gear because she has to adjust it way too many times during her matches. The same issue plagued her during her MMA career and seems like she just doesn’t want to change her gear. The main even was another low point because it wasn’t a bad match, but it was just a very meh way to end Raw. This is Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see you all next week for another Sovereign Statement.