I was pleasantly surprised last week how good Raw was and then I remembered that we are in Wrestlemania season and the creative team is stepping up like they always do. I was interested to see how they would deliver this week as there were some intriguing matches. Black/Murphy was announced and so was the Fist Fight. The latter’s rules were up in the air until WWE posted the rules online. I was a bit skeptical on if it could work, but I will save my thoughts on that until I get to it in the review. On that note, let us see what the red brand had for us this week.
Randy Orton In-Ring
Randy Orton came down to the ring and talked about how he was out there to hype up the crowd and I did enjoy how he pointed out he isn’t the type to excitedly hype up a crowd. He then called out AJ Styles and AJ would make his way out. I love heel AJ because of how cocky he is, and you can see he is having fun playing that role. He boasted about how he does Randy’s moves better than him and then this led to Drew McIntyre making his way out. I was puzzled by this but welcomed it because I have enjoyed Drew’s mic work in recent weeks. Speaking of recent weeks, Drew spoke about how he has had a rough couple of them, and I loved every minute of it. Drew mentioned how the people there didn’t pay to see them talk and rather see them fight. This led to a triple threat match that would happen right away.
Styles vs Orton vs McIntyre
Orton matches are as hit or miss as they come, and this was pretty fun. The way that Orton and Styles went after Drew was great because they clearly realized he was a threat. That could also play into the fact they wanted to get their hands on each other and wanted Drew out of the way. McIntyre got on a roll, but AJ and Orton would somewhat work together to take out Drew from the match. Orton would hit him with the steps and would focus his attention to AJ. This is when the story between AJ and Orton would continue as AJ hit Orton with the draping DDT. Orton would then be able to evade the RKO attempts by AJ and would hit AJ with a Styles Clash. That is something I thought I would never see, and Orton did a good job in hitting it. Orton would eventually hit Styles with the RKO but would eat a Claymore from McIntyre. McIntyre pinned AJ for the win and that is quite a sight to see McIntyre come out on top in a match featuring AJ Styles and Randy Orton.
Seth Rollins & AOP Backstage
AOP were getting ready for the Fist Fight match and Seth Rollins came in to ask them if they were ready. The way Seth has bought in to being the Monday Night Messiah is brilliant, and I love how it has translated to his mic work. He believes in everything that he says and that he can do no wrong. He boasted again about the sacrifices he has made and how the people made him this way. Good stuff from Seth here and I really think he could have a great 2020 as this heel character of his.
Ricochet vs Mojo Rawley
Honestly, not much to say about this match other than Mojo got to be in the ring this week. We all know how stellar Ricochet is and I hate seeing him in a match that would probably be better suited for something like Main Event. Back and forth stuff and Ricochet would eventually pick up the win with the 630.
Street Profits Backstage
The Street Profits were backstage doing their schtick and I must say that I think I am over these segments with them. They have run this into the ground, and I would much rather see them in the ring and establishing themselves as a tag team that way. That is how they will get over and not with these backstage segments. They are really doing the Street Profits wrong by not having them compete and I truly wonder why they are not in the ring more.
Charlotte Flair vs Sarah Logan
This was a fun little match between these two and I like how things would break down into more of a fight during the match. The bad thing is that since Logan has been used little to none, it was quite obvious Charlotte would pick up the win. I truly feel like Sarah Logan could have a breakout year if WWE were to give her a chance to showcase herself. Sarah put up a fight, but Charlotte would eventually pick up the win here.
Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar In-Ring
The crowd in Kentucky was already hot prior to this segment but boy did they really come alive during this. Heyman went into his usual stuff but the crowd was letting him and Lesnar have it. The boos and chants were loud and Heyman even said that they had enough and both men left the ring. Heyman then had second thoughts and came back into the ring with Brock. He tried it again and went on about how Brock is entering the Royal Rumble and how he plans on winning it. I was ready to give this a decent enough rating but then one man came and changed all of that.
R-Truth surprisingly came to the ring and interrupted Brock Lesnar. I was puzzled but this, but he became the sole reason why this segment is getting 5 crowns. Truth was an absolute riot and everything he said had me dying in laughter. He said he was going to enter the Rumble like his hero John Cena and that he planned on eliminating Paul Heyman. Heyman had to tell Truth that he wasn’t in the Rumble, Brock was. Truth immediately reneged on his statement and it was done perfectly. You know it was hilarious when Brock doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it is funny by laughing throughout Truth’s time on the mic. Truth would finish up and eventually be hit with an F5 and Brock delivered the line that is the name of this week’s Sovereign Statement. You could tell Brock did that on the fly because Heyman started busting out laughing. Will continue to say R-Truth is a hall of famer and segments like this are what prove it to me.
R-Truth Helped To The Back
Truth was being helped to the back after the F5 and would then be attacked. Mojo Rawley was the culprit and he would pin Truth to become the new 24/7 Champion. Not quite sure how I feel about Mojo holding the title but maybe he can do a decent job as champion for that belt.
Lana & Lashley Video
A video was played from earlier in the night and it was Lana and Lashley arriving to the arena. They were interviewed about the wedding and everything since then and Lana said she came to the realization that everyone is envious of her. She spoke about each person that came out to interrupt the wedding and how Liv Morgan is obsessed with her. Lashley spoke about how he planned on beating Rusev tonight and that is pretty much it. I know many people have voiced their displeasure at this angle, but I still say it is better than people would like to admit.
Bobby Lashley vs Rusev
This was a fine enough match, but I was left wondering where Liv Morgan was because she said she was going to be in Rusev’s corner last week. This match did reiterate that Rusev is once again over and that WWE should really capitalize on it and not let it go to waste. Again, the match was fine, and I was just waiting to see what shenanigans would happen because we all had to be expecting it. Lana got involved in the match and Liv finally made her way out to the ring. She got in Lana’s face and then Lana would throw a fan’s drink on her and throw he into the barricade. That distracted Rusev and allowed Lashley to hit him with a spear for the win.
Lana & Lashley Backstage
Yeah, I am totally not looking forward to seeing Lana in the ring. She announced earlier this year that she planned on wrestling more and this looks to be the first step. I have no idea what he ringwork is like now, but I hope it is decent at least.
The Viking Raiders vs The Singh Brothers
The Viking Raiders need a challenge which is why I wanted the Usos on Raw. AOP seems to be tied up with Seth so the Viking Raiders are once again stuck squashing. Give these men a real program for crying out loud!
Liv & Rusev Backstage
Liv Morgan and Rusev were quick to respond to the challenge issued by Lana and Rusev would accept it. I loved Liv on the mic here and you can clearly tell that she has been working on her mic work during her time off. It will be interesting to see how she is in the ring with Lana and I just hope it isn’t a huge cluster.
Asuka & Becky Contract Signing
Becky and Asuka came out for the contract signing and I must say that it was a pleasant sight to see Kairi Sane walk out with Asuka. There hasn’t been much word about her health wise, but it is nice to see she is healthy enough to at least come out with Asuka. The two ladies signed the contract and as Becky was wishing Asuka luck, Asuka sprayed her with the mist. I love the pleasure Asuka took in that and Becky sold the mist like a true pro. Becky then got on the mic and had one heck of a promo. She spoke about everything regarding her match with Asuka that is coming up and it was fantastic. That may have been Becky’s best promo in a minute and really did a good job in furthering this feud.
Andrade & Zelina Vega Backstage/Rey Mysterio Backstage
I decided to lump these two segments together because they happened one after the other. I love how Zelina dismissed Sarah from interviewing them because she wasn’t worthy of it. She did a great job in boasting about Andrade and what he has done. She said he is clearly the better man than Mysterio and Andrade would get on the mic to reiterate that. Andrade said he planned on beating Rey in the ladder match next week and that he will retire him as well. Andrade should win that match in my opinion. Rey then had his chance to speak and it was more of the same we have gotten from him during this Andrade feud. He spoke about Andrade not being a good role model for the Latinos and that he plans on beating him for the title next week.
Sir Mitch vs Aleister Black
This was just a fantastic match and I really cannot do it justice by trying to recap it. It was just one of those matches you must see to believe, and it showed what great chemistry these two have. From start to finish, this match was straight up awesome. The match was so awesome that Jerry, who I have had my critique about, put aside the silliness and was just focused on calling the match. The fact that Jerry was pulled in shows how great of a match this was. Fantastic work by both men and Aleister would pick up another win against Mitch. Mitch sat on the ringside barrier after the match and we will see what comes of that.
Erick Rowan Squash
Another week and another squash and I just don’t care. The only reason this gets any sort of rating is because of Mitch sitting ringside looking distraught over his loss to Black. Charly tried to interview him, but he told her that he wasn’t in the mood for it. That was better than all this Rowan stuff and that is a bit sad.
Yup, I am giving this match that high of a rating and I just cannot find a reason not to. I was worried about how this would go, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a ton of fun. Seth and AOP jumped Big Show as he made his way to the ring to gain the advantage, but Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens came down to even the odds. This was just a ton of fun and I love how chaotic the match was. We even saw Owens use the half-pipe like stage to do a cannonball/senton onto AOP. That was amazing to see, and I couldn’t believe nobody thought of doing something like that sooner. The odds looked to be against Seth and AOP when Seth would ask Mitch, who was still at ringside, for some help. Mitch thought about it and would eventually give Seth the assist and help him out against the Big Show. AOP would take care of Owens and Joe and the numbers proved to be too much for Show. The four men ganged up on him and Seth would take him out with a stomp. Joe, Show and Owens were, are taken out and that led to Seth and AOP picking up the win. After the match, Seth told Mitch that he should join them, and he would join Seth’s cause. The trio has now become a foursome and I must say that I like how the group looks.
Overall, this was another good episode of Raw and I only have a few complaints. The Rowan stuff, lack of direction for the Viking Raiders and Street Profits are my only real gripes with this episode. Everything else was pretty darn good in my eyes. The Lesnar/Heyman/Truth stuff was magnificent and is the early candidate for segment of the year. The contract signing was great in furthering the feud between Becky and Asuka. The Black/Murphy match was amazing, and the fist fight was a ton of fun as well. Again, really good episode of Raw and they have hit the ground running so far in 2020. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see you all next week for another Sovereign Statement.