Drew McIntyre Attacked WWE Champion Brock Lesnar
As I've said before, I like how McIntyre has managed to maintain momentum coming off his hot Royal Rumble victory despite Brock Lesnar being occupied with Ricochet over the past month. It was about time they crossed paths again and this was a strong segment. I don't think I've ever seen Lesnar take someone's finish three times in one night (and I'm not talking about matches). The reaction McIntyre received here indicates that what WWE is doing with McIntyre is working. This is how you get someone over as a star and get fans excited for a WrestleMania main event.
The Street PRofits def. Seth Rollins and Murphy to Win the Raw Tag Team Championship
This was billed as a "Now or Never" match, meaning Street Profits would have never been able to go for the gold again if they lost here. It seemed like a bit of an extreme stipulation considering they just joined the main roster and haven't been feuding with Rollins and Murphy for very long. It pretty much guaranteed the titles were changing hands, but I didn't mind the predictability because it was the right result. Rollins vs. Kevin Owens one-on-one is all but set in stone for at WrestleMania 36, so Rollins and Murphy had to drop the tag titles at some point. This was a highly entertaining affair that the crowd was crazy hot for, but we'll see if Street Profits will be booked any better now that they're champions.
24/7 Champion Riddick Moss def. Ricochet
If you thought it couldn't get any worse for Ricochet following his 90-second loss to Lesnar at Super ShowDown, think again. Failing to win the 24/7 Championship from Riddick Moss of all people is a career-killer in my eyes. It was a flat match for the eight minutes it lasted for and the worst part was that this did more to hurt Ricochet than it did to benefit Moss. I honestly don't know how Ricochet can bounce back from this. Needless to say, he's bound for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on the WrestleMania Kickoff show.
Aleister Black def. Karl Anderson; Black def. Luke Gallows; AJ Styles def. Black
I was really looking forward to Black vs. Styles, so this was a letdown. I understand why they did it from a storyline standpoint, but I don't know, I feel like Black's first loss in singles competition since arriving on the main roster should have been a bigger deal. He and Styles will meet again at Elimination Chamber in a No Disqualification match (which makes no sense because it welcomes interference from The O.C.) and maybe that will be more competitive, but the crowd sat on their hands for this because Black beating Anderson and Gallows was boring. It's also possible that Styles isn't completely healed from his shoulder injury yet, but even if that was the case, I would have held off on doing this matchup.
Ruby Riott def. Liv Morgan (Sarah Logan Served as Special Guest Referee)
The Riott Squad were booked to look like losers toward the end of their run together, so I'm not sure why WWE expected anyone to care about this match. Yes, they have history together, but the Riott vs. Morgan feud isn't hot enough to justify blowing it off yet. The match was perfectly fine, but I can't say I wasn't invested in the "suspense" surrounding Logan as the special guest ref. Logan helping Morgan win only to turn on her afterward was incredibly predictable. This three-way feud should be more compelling than it is.
Shayna Baszler def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Kairi Sane
Sane being Baszler's first opponent on the main roster is fitting given their history over the NXT Women's Championship in NXT and they had some stellar matches on the black-and-gold brand, but this was not one of them. The match was meant to establish Baszler as dominant, but it went too long and lacked intensity. Someone like Liv Morgan would have been better for this spot because she doesn't have much credibility to lose to begin with. Asuka's injury was a blessing in disguise because it would have been way too early to do Baszler vs. Asuka (the two best NXT Women's Champions ever), especially with very little prior hype.
Humberto Carrillo and Rey Mysterio def. United States Champion Andrade and Angel Garza
I've been digging this four-way feud between these guys over the past month or so and this was another enjoyable encounter featuring the four of them. They received a ton of time and made the most of it. Carrillo hasn't scored many victories lately, so having him pin Andrade was the right call. Those two will collide for the United States Championship at Elimination Chamber and I have a sneaking suspicion Carrillo will win to set up the Fatal 4-Way for WrestleMania, even though I'd have Andrade hold the gold until then.
Randy Orton Attacked Beth Phoenix
I don't think there is a better heel in wrestling right now than Randy Orton. That initial attack on Edge over a month ago was fantastic and he's been doing the best work of his career since. He was an absolute asshole here by attempting to manipulate Phoenix into thinking Edge's injury was her fault before laying her out with an RKO. Phoenix also deserves props for delivering a phenomenal performance of her own. There can be no doubt that Edge vs. Orton is the hottest story going in all of WWE heading into WrestleMania weekend. Expect Edge to finally resurface next week and exact revenge on Orton for his heinous actions.
Part of me is bummed I wasn't in attendance for this show because the opening and closing segments as well as that Raw Tag Team Championship match were excellent. It wasn't an amazing episode on the whole, but the good definitely outweighed the bad and those two segments and the title change were enough to earn this show a thumbs-up rating. Raw lost momentum in the middle starting with the unceremonious burial of Ricochet, not to mention that the reveal of what's been in Erick Rowan's dumb cage this entire time (a fake spider...really?) was terrible, but it managed to recover by the end. Oh, and we have another pay-per-view on Sunday in Elimination Chamber, for those who didn't know. The build was decent with some last-minute matches being announced, but the event feels like a total afterthought.
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