Charlotte Flair Attacked Becky Lynch
In addition to recapping her amazing week, Lynch addressed Ronda Rousey again, and the way she was talking about their upcoming match definitely made it seem like it's on tap to main event the show. Meanwhile, Flair's mic work here was terrific. She is so much more comfortable in the heel role, and although we have seen a ton of her and Lynch against each other since SummerSlam, almost all of their interactions have been excellent. Here's hoping Flair's attack on Lynch isn't a sign WWE plans on adding Flair to the Raw Women's Championship matchup at WrestleMania and instead was designed to build to Lynch vs. Flair one more time at Elimination Chamber.
R-Truth def. Shinsuke Nakamura to Win the United States Championship
Here's a quick rundown of the United States Championship picture over the last month: Rusev beat Nakamura for the belt on Christmas. Nakamura then regained the gold from Rusev at the Royal Rumble. Then, Truth took the title from Nakamura a mere two days later. Still following? I'm not completely sure whether it was a botch or not as of this writing, but Truth's victory over Nakamura definitely did not feel like it was supposed to happen when it did (if at all). It came off as awkward, but worse yet, it was a dumb call. Look, Truth has had a nice career resurgence for himself, but him pinning Nakamura clean is a joke.
Lucha House Party def. Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers
This was a rematch from last week's Raw where Lucha House Party emerged victorious. It felt like filler then and this felt like filler, too. I actually don't mind The Singh Brothers and would be in favor of them returning to 205 Live (they were on the debut episode two years ago and were abruptly taken off television), but Mahal continues to do nothing for me. This was a perfectly fine six-man tag team match, but outside of the fun final stretch, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary about this.
The B-Team def. The Ascension
Remember when The B-Team received that run as Raw Tag Team Champions over the summer and were pushed as a serious threat for a time in the division? Yeah, me either. They're back where they belong (in the undercard of Raw's tag team division), but we see them so rarely on Raw and even Main Event nowadays that it's easy to forget they're still employed. Also, The Ascension are just awful, so this was every bit as abysmal as you'd expect it to be. The only good thing I can say about it is that it was over within a minute or two.
Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose
Rollins was all fired up talking about his Royal Rumble victory from Sunday night, and listening to how hot the crowd was for him here confirmed it was the right call by the company to go with him as the men's Rumble winner. Triple H telling Rollins that he had until the end of the night to make a decision regarding who wanted to face at WrestleMania was weird since past Rumble winners never had to make their decision the next night on Raw. Nevertheless, it was a good hook for the rest of the show. Before Rollins could focus on the WrestleMania main event, he had to finish up his feud with Ambrose. This was easily their best match in recent memory and it helped kick off he night on a high note.
Nia Jax and Tamina def. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James to Qualify for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Ambrose stuck around following his loss to Rollins, but before he could air his grievances to the world, he was cut off by Jax's music. Jax then forced Ambrose out of the ring, and after what happened during the men's Rumble, it appears WWE is more open now to intergender wrestling than they were before. The match that followed was far from an instant classic, but it accomplished what it needed to with Jax and Tamina advancing to Eliminaton Chamber.
Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. Scott Dawson and Rezar (Non-title; Kickoff Match)
The Raw tag team division is in such a sad state that WWE is now pairing off members of different teams together. Of course, Dawson and Rezar have never teamed before, have no chemistry, and had no business being partners on this show. Credit to all involved for their effort, but this match was total throwaway. I have no idea who will ultimately take the titles from Roode and Gable and I can't say I care.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev to Win the United States Championship (Kickoff Match)
This feud has felt completely cold to me. Sure, they work well together, but I didn't much interest in this outing at all. It was fine for what it was, yet not nearly as strong as their last championship clash on Christmas night. I assumed Rusev retaining his title was a slam dunk, so Nakamura regaining the gold seemed strange to me. Nakamura did nothing of note during his last reign as champion, so his second stint with the strap is more memorable. As for Rusev, who the hell knows what's next for him.
War Raiders def. Undisputed Era to Win the NXT Tag Team Championship
In what should come as no surprise, Undisputed Era produced yet another outstanding tag team match. It makes complete sense why the company would count on them time and time again to kick off TakeOver with a bang, because all of their matches have a high standard of quality regardless of who they're up against. War Raiders have had a nice run in NXT up to this point, but they needed that one truly memorable match to stand out and this was it. Admittedly, I'm slightly disappointed The Street Profits weren't the team to beat Undisputed Era as NXT Tag Team Champions, but it was a cool moment for War Raiders, nonetheless.
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno
I was hoping for this to be the barn-burner I know these two are capable of, but it ended up being just another good match between Riddle and Ohno. Don't get me wrong, I thought the intensity both guys brought to the table was excellent and it felt personal, but it could have been better with more time and a hotter closing stretch. That said, Riddle went over decisively as he should have and his flurry of elbow shots to Ohno's head was a unique finish that played off his past in the UFC.
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