We have finally arrived at the go-home episode of Raw for Wrestlemania. Some of these programs have had great builds and some not so much. Go-homes for Wrestlemania usually do well and I hoped this week would be the same. With all of that out of the way, let us see what Raw had for us this week.
Stephanie McMahon Announcement
I think we all had a feeling this would happen after Charlotte beat Asuka last week on Smackdown but weren’t quite sure to believe it. Stephanie McMahon came out and announced that the main event of Wrestlemania would be a winner take all match. That just adds a lot of fuel to the main event and really gives the image that any one of the three women can win the match. I do wonder if this means we could see a unification of the women’s titles sometime in the future and this could be a test run to see how the fans respond to a single champion.
Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar In-Ring
Paul Heyman is fantastic on the mic, but I do have to admit that hearing him do the same shtick week in and week out for Lesnar is tiresome after a while. He did what he always does and that is hype up Lesnar as an unstoppable beast and that Seth has no chance against him. I really wish I could say more on what Heyman said but it is more or less the same thing he has said every time Lesnar has been champion since his return. It was refreshing to see Seth Rollins come out to confront Lesnar and he delivered a very impassioned promo to Lesnar’s face. Seth attacked Lesnar with some low blows and delivered a Blackout, the stomp, and stood tall at the end.
8 Woman Tag Match
This was a match that happened and honestly, there isn’t much that I could recall from it. The teams involved will all be in the women’s tag title match and the match was fine. The only problem was that it felt like a match we have seen before even though we haven’t. It was great to see Beth Phoenix get a decent amount of ring time and she looked rather good in there. I do contend that she is one of the best but was hindered by being in the wrong time for the women’s division. Beth had a great spot where she just bulldozed Tamina through the barricade into the timekeeper area and that was totally unexpected. Beth would pick up the win for her team with the Glam Slam in a good match.
You can call me crazy for giving this segment such a high rating, but I believe it deserves it. Batista’s promo was short and to the point. He said he wanted to beat Triple H’s “butt”, did a mic drop and walked off. That is all that was needed, and he didn’t need a long-winded promo like Triple H to get his message across. The video package highlighting their rivalry was also good and I stand by what I said in the DD that this was the best Batista promo ever.
Elias At MetLife Stadium
Sadly, this Elias segment on location was not as good as the ones from last week. It was nice that he was able to get an “Oohh Walk with Elias” chant going in the crowd from where he was but other than that, this was nothing to write home about.
Apollo Crews vs Jinder Mahal
This was a match that is more suited for Main Event and not Raw and it showed by the crowd’s reaction to it. I know this match was taking place to hype up the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but hardly anybody cares about that match. The match happened, and Apollo picked up the win. A battle royal type brawl happened after the match that saw Apollo stand tall.
Kurt Angle In-Ring
It looked like Kurt’s match with Rey Mysterio got cancelled and I am glad that it did. Kurt needs to save his energy for his Wrestlemania match because he has not looked good at all. Kurt was out to say his farewell and then a very good video package highlighting his career was played. If there is one thing WWE gets right darn near every time, it is a video package. Baron Corbin then came out to be the absolute slime that he has become, and he excelled once again. Rey came out to challenge Corbin on Kurt’s behald and Corbin wasn’t having it. He tried to sneak attack Rey, but Rey and Kurt were able to gain the upper hand on Corbin.
Charlotte Flair Backstage
Charlotte had a backstage interview to talk about her match tonight on Raw and her upcoming Wrestlemania match and she did well here. She has certainly risen to the occasion in this new character she was given, and it seems very natural coming from her. She came off as cocky and that was perfect for this segment.
Ricochet & Aleister Black vs The Revival
I will start off by saying that I dislike that they added a creaking noise to Black’s rise during his entrance because that is not needed. His entrance is perfect as is and the creaking is a bit too much. This is a match we have seen a few times over the last month or so and we all knew that it would be a good one. Black and Ricochet have clicked very fast as a team and it shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. We were all a bit worried that the Revival might lose here because they got the jobber entrance but that may have been a bit premature. The match was great and showed a ton of the old school style of tag team wrestling that the Revival have been known for. Cutting off one member of the team from their partner was executed well here and it did look like they would lose the titles. Right when it looked like Ricochet would beat a ten count to keep the match going, Scott Dawson grabbed Ricochet’s leg from under the ring to retain the titles via count out. Black would give Wilder and Dawson a Black Mass each and Ricochet gave Dawson a 630 senton for his troubles.
Ronda Rousey Backstage
This was Ronda’s best promo in weeks and I think that had to do with keeping it short and sweet. The only issue I had with it is that she told Charly that she didn’t have time to talk and just wanted to fight but then proceeded to talk. Ronda should have just walked away and bumped Charly when she walked by her. Other than that slip in logic, this was a good promo by Ronda.
Alexa Bliss Backstage with EC3 & Tyler Breeze
Poor Breeze and EC3, they should be in such a better spot than they are right now. Breeze has charisma for days but hasn’t been given a fair shot yet. EC3 as finally able to speak and he was able to show off his charisma as well. Braun then came in and got angry over people seeing clips of Weekend Update from SNL. I really have a hard time buying Braun as a face during all of this because he has just been a big bully and not in a fun way.
Roman Reigns Backstage
Roman Reigns was backstage to talk about the beatings he has received at the hands of Drew McIntyre and he came off well here for the limited time he was able to speak as McIntyre blindsided him once again and beat him up. McIntyre is being built as a monster heel right now and I love every minute of it. I do wonder though about Roman’s mic work because it has gotten exponentially better. Maybe he got some pointers on his acting when filming his role in the Rock’s upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff movie.
Becky Lynch Promo
Becky sure knows how to cut one mean promo and she did so once again. This time she was at Gorilla prior to making her way out for her match and she spoke about her Wrestlemania match. The amount of swagger she showed here was just perfect and I loved that she isn’t going to play any of the games Charlotte or Ronda might want her to play.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Ronda Rousey vs The Riott Squad
The Riott Squad deserve more than this, but I guess they had to be the sacrificial lambs tonight. The match itself was fine but this was all about the tension of the three women involved in the main event of Wrestlemania. They all had their moments to shine and Ronda would pick up the win. After the win is when fun would happen…..
Becky, Charlotte & Ronda Brawl
This had to separated from the actual match because it was that good. This was a brawl that felt like something that belongs on a go-home of Raw and it was perfect in every way. From how chaotic it looked, to the amount of security and police used, it was just perfect. Honestly, words do not do justice to how amazing this segment was, and you should really check it out for yourself because it is that good.
Roode & Gable vs Heavy Machinery
Well this match happened and much like the Apollo/Jinder match, felt like something that could have been on Main Event. Heavy Machinery seemed to have cooled down in recent weeks and I have to wonder why that is. Roode and Gable should have turned heel after they lost the tag titles and now just feel directionless. The only reason why this doesn’t get a zero is because Lacey Evans came out for her catwalk and she owned it like she always does. I also want either a YouTube video or a network special on her dresses because they always look amazing and I want to see the work that goes into them.
Braun Strowman vs Randoms
Only way to describe this match is that it was a squash match and that is it. Braun is dominant, and I don’t think we needed this match to make it even clearer. This match is worthy of my “skip!” and that is putting it nicely.
Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush In-Ring
I have said it once and I will say it again, Lio Rush has saved Lashley’s second run in the company. Prior to Lio joining Lashley, he was a generic, smiling babyface and Lio has brought the intensity out from him. With as much as Lashley kept mentioning demon when talking about Finn, it was a matter of time before Finn Balor popped up and announced that the Demon would be there at Wrestlemania. I have to imagine Finn has something big plan for his entrance and the Demon is making his long-awaited debut at the biggest show of the year.
Rey Mysterio vs Baron Corbin
This was an odd way to close the go-home for Raw and the match ended up being very meh. Corbin has had good matches and I thought this would be one, but it looked like he and Mysterio just couldn’t find any chemistry at all. The result is that the match ended up being very meh and one I was just waiting for to end. There really isn’t much to talk about this match because not much really happened. Corbin picked up the win with a Deep 6, a rarity to win with that, and he looked strong going into Sunday. That was until Angle took him down and placed an Ankle Lock on him on the entrance ramp and Angle stood tall to close Raw. A very meh way to end this episode.
This go-home episode of Raw was very good even though the ending was very meh. One of the highlights was definitely the brawl between Becky, Ronda and Charlotte because that could be a segment of the year contender. The tag title match was another solid highlight and both teams looked good in the match. I will say that the low points were the Braun squash match, Apollo/Jinder and the Roode & Gable vs Heavy Machinery matches. Overall this was a good go-home and I hope to see you all next week for another Sovereign Statement. Make sure to join us Wrestlemania weekend for all the Dignified Discussions as we will all be around for an amazing weekend of wrestling.