There was plenty to anticipate for this week’s Raw because of the ongoing storyline between Becky Lynch and the McMahon family. It is clear that they are dusting off the book of Austin/McMahon and are trying to replicate it with Becky Lynch. I can see why they are doing it, but is it needed at this point? Becky has gotten herself over and the fans are behind her in the same way they rallied behind Daniel Bryan years ago. So, let us see what Raw had for us this week.
The Man & The Authority
I still don’t get the logic of using the knee injury angle in this storyline, but I guess it is the only thing they could come up with in this Austin/McMahon 2.0 story they are telling here. The confidence Becky has on the mic right now is palatable and she owns everything she says. Stephanie and Triple H apologized for the things they said to Becky and then revealed that she would be cleared after a few weeks of rehab and her suspension would be lifted. Then Stephanie and Triple H had to swing their power hammer and told Becky to apologize or her match at Wrestlemania would be taken from her. I loved the fire and passion from Becky as she took offense to the demand of an apology and this would play well throughout the night. Triple H gave an ultimatum to Becky about the apology and he expected an answer by the end of the night. Good storytelling throughout this opening segment from everybody.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match
This match featured all three women’s tag teams that will be involved in Sunday’s Elimination Chamber tag team match and it was pretty fun. I am enjoying that Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan are getting a chance to shine outside of being Ruby’s sidekicks and they looked good here. Tamina was also able to show a bit more in the ring as well and she looked good in there. The Riott Squad took out Sasha Banks on the outside and this makes two weeks in a row that Sasha was taken out of a match with Bayley. It is a good story beat but reports have come out that Sasha has some nagging injuries, so I think this has been a way to keep her rested for Sunday. All in all, this was a fun match that saw Bayley get pinned so Sasha and her will be one of the teams to start the Chamber match.
Finn Balor & Becky Lynch Backstage
I loved the interaction between these two here and it shouldn’t be a surprise given their long friendship. I love that Finn’s words carried weight with her when he told her that she should apologize. He basically gave her a “pride cometh before the fall” type of advice and you could tell she took the words to heart. Also, the last line as Finn was walking away by Becky of “your abs still look awesome by the way” was just the cherry on the top.
Walk With Elias Interrupted
All that Elias wanted to do was play a song and he continued to get interrupted. First by the Finn and Becky backstage segment and then by a highlight package for Seth Rollins. Just when it looked like he would get to play his song, the Lucha House Party came out to interrupt him. Then a commercial break came right after that and when they came back from commercial, the frustration on Elias’ face was perfect. The Lucha House Party talked about how they wanted to walk with Elias and Elias played his song. Elias seems so much more comfortable as a heel and I wonder if he had a say in going back to being a heel. Kalisto told Elias his song wasn’t good so Elias gave him his guitar to play and Kalisto played a clean chord. Of course, this wouldn’t stand so Elias smashed a guitar across the back of Kalisto and that was the end of this segment.
Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre
These two have awesome chemistry and this was a fun match for as long as it lasted. McIntyre has intensity down pat and he brings it each time he is in that ring. Finn does a good job playing the role of underdog and he did it again in this match. Really good back and forth between the two and I would love to see these two fight over the Universal Championship someday. Lashley and Lio Rush were ringside for this match, so it was only a matter of time before they got involved. Lashley attacked Balor which lead to a two on one beatdown. Kurt Angle came down to even the odds for a bit, but Baron Corbin then came down and the odds were once again in the heels favor. Braun Strowman then came down and cleared the ring so we all know what this would lead to…
Six-Man Tag Team Match
This was a fun match, but I must say that it is a bit hard to see Kurt in the ring. His body has been through so much physically and you can clearly see the effect it has in the ring. At times it looks like he can barely finish a German Suplex, so it causes the person he is doing it on to exert more energy to help him. It looked like the heels would pick up the win, but another referee came down to the ring to point out that Finn’s foot was on the rope, so the match would be continued after this. The heels did a good job in knocking down Angle and Strowman when Finn was in the match to maximize any advantage they could get. It looked like the heels would go on to pick up the win here, but Finn was able to make the tag to Strowman and he cleaned house like he does so very well. Strowman gave Lashley a running powerslam and Finn hit the Coup de Grace for his team.
Kevin Owens Update
Kevin Owens looks like he has lost some weight as his belly doesn’t look as big anymore. This was an interesting video as he talked about how it has been rough to watch the product. He said he was one month out from coming back so he is either coming back right before Wrestlemania, or the Raw or Smackdown after. Also, that gutter ball was perfect to close out this video.
Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riott
Fun match between these two as we know they can put on stellar matches. The only shame of this was that we missed a portion of this match because of a backstage segment, that could have aired after the match, took away from the action. Ronda told Becky to apologize and she did well in her line delivery this week. I love that Becky just shrugged off Ronnie’s advice in comparison to Finn’s advice on the matter. Back to the match, it was another shame that the crowd wasn’t that into this match. It was pretty good but having a dead crowd does take away from it. Ruby ended up picking up the win over Nikki in a match I wish wasn’t taken off our screen for a segment that could have easily aired after the match. Also, Nikki Cross isn’t getting buried in the slightest since she has yet to make it known which brand she is signing with.
Seth Rollins In-Ring
The way this segment kicked off, you would have thought that Seth was about to announce that he was injured and would not be able to make it to his Wrestlemania match. No that wasn’t the case and he went out there and delivered a very strong and passionate promo. He spoke about being ready to face the Beast and nothing would deter him. Paul Heyman then came out and did what he does best on the mic. He teased a Lesnar appearance but we all know better than that at this point with the champ who never appears. Seth and Heyman had a good back and forth and I am looking forward to more of that the closer we get to Wrestlemania. Dean Ambrose then came out and told Seth to “slay the beast” and then sat down ringside before his upcoming match with EC3. It was a very strange way to end this segment and I think the crowd felt the same as well.
EC3 vs Dean Ambrose
There isn’t really much to say about this match because this match was very meh. The crowd didn’t react to EC3 and I blame that on creative for not letting him speak. The man is talented on the mic and that is the best way for him to get over with the crowd and they are robbing him of that skill. Again, the match was very meh that had Ambrose pick up the win via roll-up like EC3 did last week. I bet we get another match between these two and I just hope that EC3 is allowed to speak at some point. Is that too much to ask for?
Alexa Bliss & Becky Lynch Backstage
Alexa is golden on the mic and Becky was right there with her, if not a step ahead. I love that Alexa told Becky not to apologize and Becky saw right through her. Becky told her that Alexa was telling her that, so she could get her title match against Ronda at Wrestlemania and didn’t believe a word she said. They had a great back and forth and I hope we get to see this version of Becky take on Alexa in the future.
Olympic Glory vs The Revival
This match is what the Raw tag division was in dire need of. The Revival and Olympic Glory (Roode and Gable) put on quite the match. Word has gone around that they have been tearing it down during house shows, so it was very nice of them to give us a great match here. The Revival are among the best tag teams in that ring and they were allowed to show it here. Roode and Gable have become a solid tag team in their own right and they have become a good addition to the mostly jobber tag team division on Raw. There were plenty of near falls during this match from both sides and that helped to tell the story even better. It took the crowd some time to get into this match, and it seemed like they were dead for most of the night, but they were finally able to get into the match when both teams kicked it up a notch. The Revival were able to finally pick up the win here and are the new Raw Tag Team Champions. They cut a promo backstage in the Gorilla position and I guess WWE wants to see what they can do as the top team on Raw.
Does the Man Apologize?
The anticipation for this moment was done very well and Becky really had everybody on their toes as to whether or not she would apologize to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. I love that when Stephanie asked for her to say those “two little words” that the crowd starting chanting “suck it!” and that would have been a great line for her to say. At the end, Becky would apologize because nothing will get in her way to fight Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania. Ronda Rousey then came to the ring and it looked like we would get a stare down to close Raw, but we were in for a surprise we all knew was coming.
Vince McMahon came out and told Becky that he didn’t accept her apology and that he would be suspending her for 60 days. He then said he knew the perfect person to take her place and out came Charlotte Flair. I knew this was coming and yet I was still rendered speechless. Yes, it does anger me that Charlotte has been inserted into this match when Becky deserves the rub of taking on Ronda in the main event at Wrestlemania but this will make the fans clamor for Becky even more. This may work out for WWE in the long run and this may be the character tweak for Charlotte that can help her in the long run as well. Charlotte is going to play the entitled heel and I think that can be the role she was meant to play.
This Raw was just alright and it wasn’t bad, but it was good either. This week’s Raw was very middle of the road and that isn’t something you want for a go-home edition. The true highlights of the night were the Raw tag team title match and all of the Becky segments. The only real low point was the EC3/Ambrose match because it was the most meh thing about this Raw. Everything was okay but nothing really horrible. Charlotte will become one the most hated people in wrestling and I hope she flourishes in this role. Make sure to join us on Sunday for Elimination Chamber as we will be having another Dignified Discussion during the event. This is Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see everybody next week for another Sovereign Statement.