Asuka, Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Nia JAx
Bliss' pre-match promo was excellent as usual as she ran down her opponents at Elimination Chamber and played up her partnership with James. I thought she would turn on James right then and there, or at least during/after the subsequent six-woman tag team match, but apparently not. James is a heel now despite never actually turning, so I'm interested to see if their alliance sticks or if it'll be short-lived. The match itself was super solid and furthered several storylines with Jax and Asuka as well as Bayley and Banks with Bayley refusing to take the tag from Banks. No, Bayley didn't turn heel, but I guess she didn't understand that it was every woman for themselves inside the Chamber and that Banks was merely doing what had to be done.
John Cena Challenged The Undertaker to a Match at WrestleMania 34
The notion that Cena doesn't have a road to WrestleMania even though he hasn't missed an installment in a decade a half is absolutely ridiculous. The match with Undertaker has been rumored for many months, so it was hardly a surprise when Cena brought up his name as a potential opponent for the show. He then said it would be "impossible" for that to come to fruition before announcing that as a "free agent," he will be appearing on Tuesday's SmackDown Live to find a different route to WrestleMania. He is currently advertised for Fastlane after all, but 'Taker will resurface at some point to make that 'Mania match official.
Bray Wyatt vs. Heath Slater Went to a No Contest
Thank the lord this match never actually ended up happening because it would have been a waste of time. Wyatt got some of his heat back by attacking them instead, so that was fine. As I had feared coming out of Elimination Chamber, the Wyatt vs. "Woken" Matt Hardy feud is not yet over, but on the bright side, it appears they might be setting up something at the Hardy Compound between them. That could salvage this feud if done right.
Seth Rollins def. Intercontinental Champion The miz (Non-title)
Rollins and Miz haven't crossed paths one-on-one prior to this show, but they have been feuding on-and-off for the last year between the build to Elimination Chamber and the Shield's program with Miz and The Miztourage. They have awesome in-ring chemistry together and this was a very fun match. Rollins delivered one week removed from his phenomenal performance in the Gauntlet match and appears to be gunning for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
Finn Balor def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (Non-title)
Similar to Rollins last week, Miz was the iron man on this night by wrestling back-to-back matches, except he lost both of them. Nonetheless, this was another entertaining match with Miz and Balor. The crowd was engaged in the action and it ate up a good chunk of television time. I assume a Triple Threat matchup for the Intercontinental Championship with Miz, Balor and Rollins is in the works and I'm in full favor of it. They had a tremendous three-way last year on Raw, so I'm looking forward to the likely rematch.
Roman Reigns Addressed Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
There is plenty of time for Reigns and Lesnar to go face-to-face between now and WrestleMania, so I actually liked this approach instead. For those asking, Reigns' lines were definitely scripted, and I'm sure Lesnar was indeed backstage for the show, but WWE had Reigns cut a "worked shoot" promo and and it worked. Honestly, it's the only way fans will cheer him. I wouldn't have him do it every week, mind you, but it felt real, and Reigns needs more of that with his character if he's going to be "the guy" moving forward.
Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro def. Titus Worldwide in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
What was the purpose of this 2-out-of-3 Falls match? I realize the commentators' explanation was that Titus Worldwide owned three non-title victories over The Bar, but then The Bar beat them at Elimination Chamber to retain their titles so that should have been it! The stipulation was completely pointless since Sheamus and Cesaro won the first fall in a matter of seconds and then the second fall in decisive fashion. As I've said in the past, Raw's tag team division can use all the help it can get at the moment. Are The Revival next up to challenge them, or will it be some fresh faces from NXT like Authors of Pain or SAnitY?
Braun Strowman def. Elias by Disqualification
Although Strowman eliminated Elias in the Elimination Chamber match, they still had some unfinished business from a few weeks back when Strowman smashed that orchestra instrument over Elias' back, so this was a logical way to wrap up that loose end even though it featured a non-finish. Elias was able to escape unscathed, so no damage was done to him here, and Strowman remains a wrecking machine. I doubt this will go all the way until WrestleMania and that WWE has something more important in mind for The Monster Among Men at the event, but I suppose you never know.
The Authority "Apologized" To Ronda Rousey
I was hoping WWE wouldn't even given Rousey a microphone on this show after her poor performance on the stick at Elimination Chamber, but they oped to make the same mistake twice. Rousey comes across as so damn robotic, so maybe it'll take time for her to improve. Or they could just give her a mouthpiece in Paul Heyman, but that might not be until after WrestleMania. As for the rest of this segment, it was weird. Angle lost that edge he showed on Sunday night and got attacked by Triple H. That must mean he'll be Rousey's partner at WrestleMania, right? This angle isn't off to the strongest start, but I have faith it'll pick up in the coming weeks.
I enjoyed Elimination Chamber on the whole, but WWE needed a hot post-pay-per-view edition of Raw to kick off their road to WrestleMania properly. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed. I'm not claiming WrestleMania will be a bust because based off what we've seen so far and what the WrestleMania is bound to look like, it should be special. This show, however, was unsuccessful in generating much buzz outside of the Intercontinental Championship picture. It wasn't a total flop but rather middle-of-the-road, which shouldn't be the case for the first Raw following Elimination Chamber.
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