Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch Addressed Shayna Baszler
Lynch has been acting very heelish for the past month or so, but other than the "bitch" line, she came across like a total babyface here. She cut a great promo about putting Bazler on notice while also establishing her as credible. The entire feud doesn't have to be about how Lynch pinned Ronda Rousey (Baszler's friend) at last year's WrestleMania, but it was important that it was mentioned and thus I'm glad Lynch brought that up. This is what we should've gotten from her from the get-go, but it was better late than never. I eagerly await Baszler's response on next week's show.
Rey Mysterio def. angel Garza
Garza had not been pinned on the main roster before losing to Mysterio here, so while it would have been huge for him to beat Mysterio, I don't think he lost anything in defeat. Plus, the match was very entertaining and both guys had great performances. Mysterio was owed a big win eventually, so again, I didn't mind that he won. I'm still hoping we get a Fatal 4-Way at WrestleMania for the United States Championship between Mysterio, Garza, Andrade and Humberto Carrillo (despite his latest loss at Elimination Chamber).
NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley Confronted Charlotte Flair
That Ripley video package from last week's NXT was terrific and I'm happy they replayed it here for anyone who hadn't already seen it. Flair hasn't been on Raw a ton lately due to her rivalry with Ripley mainly playing out on NXT, but it was good for them both to be featured on this show. Flair's promo was solid and Ripley slapping her down to the mat was the right call. Ripley's been made to look very strong since becoming NXT Women's Champion, so I sincerely hope WWE doesn't change the title simply for the sake of swerving viewers.
Bobby Lashley def. Zack Ryder
As someone on commentary noted, Lana is off filming a movie for the foreseeable future. Rejoice! Unfortunately, I don't see Lashley doing anything of note heading into WrestleMania aside from being relegated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Sure, he beat Ryder here in dominant and decisive fashion, but needless to say, that doesn't really mean much. Lashley needs a ton of rehabbing before he can be taken seriously again.
Drew McIntyre def. Erick Rowan
For those who missed it, Rowan revealed last week that a fake-looking spider has been inside his cage the entire time. Thankfully, this seemed to be WWE's way of writing it off television because they realized how dumb it was. McIntyre completely dominated him and rightfully so. I haven't understood Rowan's push since it started late last year, but it may finally be over. Better yet, McIntyre is getting more and more over by the week, which is an encouraging sign that his aggressive push is working.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champion The Kabuki Warriors def. Natalya and Liv Morgan (Non-Title)
WWE remembered for the first time in 2020 that they have tag titles for the women. You had to know Natalya and Morgan weren't going to win due to be a makeshift tag team. From an in-ring standpoint, this was totally fine albeit nothing special. By the way, why should anyone care about a three-way feud featuring the former Riott Squad members when all three of them submitted to Baszler in record-setting time at Elimination Chamber? To me, no one matters in the Raw women's division right now outside Lynch, Baszler and Flair.
AJ Styles Addressed The Undertaker
Styles getting pinned by Undertaker with a single chokeslam at Super ShowDown and losing to Aleister Black at Elimination Chamber due to interference from The Phenom wasn't enough to get excited about the idea of them facing each other at WrestleMania, but this promo certainly was. Styles' line about Undertaker dying in the ring was a little much (though I get how it ties into his Deadman character), but everything else was intriguing. No one ever goes after 'Taker the person and I don't think his marriage with Michelle McCool has ever been acknowledged on-air before, so this felt fresh. Now Styles has to win at WrestleMania.
24/7 Champion Riddick Moss def. Cedric Alexander
After Moss beat Ricochet clean last week to retain his title, I assumed it was only inevitable before he beat Alexander as well. He's already faced and defeated him on Main Event, but never on Raw until now. The bout was as basic as could be and did nothing to sell me on Moss. He comes off as extremely generic and doesn't have anything that stands out about him despite having a decent look. The biggest story was that Alexander has been officially buried since failing to win the United States Championship last year. His fall from grace has been as sad as Ricochet's recently.
Edge Attacked Randy Orton and MVP
MVP standing in the ring when the show came back from commercial break was random. I understand he was intended to be a ploy for Orton to attack Edge from behind, but I love the idea of MVP starting a stable if WWE is actually interested in doing that. At any rate, this wasn't as hot of a segment as I hoped it would be for Edge's grand return and I could have done without MVP's involvement, but this was well done on the whole. Edge's RKOs looked weak, but I got what they were going for. I appreciated how Edge didn't stand around in the ring when Orton ran away and instead chased him backstage. It was an appropriate reaction considering Orton targeted his wife last week.
Aleister Black def. Seth Rollins by Disqualification; Rollins, Murphy and AOP def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders
Black is fresh off a big win over Styles at Elimination Chamber, but I don't think WWE fully capitalized on that on this show. Sure, he faced another top talent in Rollins, but this wasn't designed to be a breakout performance for him. Rather, it was merely a setup for the subsequent eight-man tag team match that Black wasn't even a part of. I guess it was better than Rollins pinning him clean, but I still found it strange. I would have saved said eight-man tag team match for next week because it suffered from happening so late in the show and caused the three hours to drag that much more, especially since it felt like it would never end. Rollins needed a win at some point, but him pinning Montez Ford tells me that Street Profits can't beat Rollins and Murphy unless they receive assistance from Kevin Owens. Speaking of whom, he attempted to take the fight to Rollins and his crew post-match but wound up looking up at the lights. He has to have some sort of interaction with Stone Cold Steve Austin next week, right?
The crowd came alive for that main event in the final few minutes, but there was no reason for it to last as long as it did aside from killing television time. This show started off promisingly enough with that awesome first hour, but it fell off a cliff from there. That isn't to say it was entirely terrible because it had its fair share of highlights (that video package focusing on Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre was especially exceptional) and it feels like the road to WrestleMania is officially in full swing, but the three hours dragged more than usual and I wasn't thrilled with the third hour specifically. Here's hoping they can produce three strong shows ahead of WrestleMania next month.
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