Raw will start building to WrestleMania 34 in earnest in a town where their newest Superstar has a lot of history, Anaheim, California.
As the advocate for the reigning, occassionally defending Universal champion Brock Lesnar likes to say, this isn’t a prediction - it’s a spoiler. And we’re not talking about the long reported showdown with Roman Reigns that’s now official after the Big Dog put down Braun Strowman with multiple spears at Elimination Chamber last night (Feb. 25).
No, we’re talking about the face-to-face confrontation which will go down tonight. Paul Heyman broke the news on Saturday, and WWE confirmed it.
My congratulations in advance to the winner of @WWE #EliminationChamber. And my apologies, also in advance, for what @BrockLesnar will say to the face of that aforementioned winner of the Chamber, LIVE this Monday in Anaheim on #RAW! pic.twitter.com/u50wU5ApYl— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) February 24, 2018
Reigns may not be in any condition to do anything more than listen to what the Beast Incarnate has to say, seeing as Strowman wasn’t finished with his long-time rival after getting pinned in the Chamber on Sunday. And the pair of running powerslams Roman took from Braun, not to mention the trip through a pod, has a lot of fans wondering if Vince McMahon’s ‘Mania plans aren’t set in stone.
We’ve seen a couple different iterations of Strowman/Lesnar already, of course. And Reigns/Lesnar I was banging until it became a Triple Threat. Still, as hot an act as The Monster Among Men is, and with his history with both Roman and Brock...
It wouldn’t be disappointing if the folks fantasy booking Braun into the main event on April 8 got their way, is all I’m saying. I wouldn’t be that upset if they didn’t, either, though. It isn’t everyone’s favorite story, featuring everyone’s favorite guys, but there is a long-term story in Roman vs. Brock. And it’s one that deserves a clean payoff.
The title scene
If Strowman doesn’t get into the battle for the red strap (which reminds me... please don’t let Brock and Roman play tug-of-war with the belt again, WWE) he rumored to be challenging The Miz for The A-Lister’s Intercontinental title. Braun did eliminate Miz in the Chamber, but then he eliminated everyone but the Big Dog. Perhaps Finn Bálor is still an option for The Awesome One’s next challenger.
After winning the first-ever Women’s Elimination Chamber match, Women’s champ Alexa Bliss was feeling pretty good about herself. And after Nia Jax lost a chance to get into a title match at ‘Mania when she lost to Asuka, but also decimated the undefeated Royal Rumble, wounding a potential Bliss rival... everything went The Goddess’ way this weekend.
Apollo lost more than his name last week - he also lost track of who the legal man was when Titus Worldwide challenged tag titleholders Cesaro and Sheamus at Elimination Chamber. That meant The Bar could hit him with their tandem finisher, and continue their fourth reign as champs. Does it mean Titus O’Neill and his partner’s time atop the pairs scene is over? Dana Brooke will have to crunch the numbers and let us know.
The 205 Live crew hasn’t been getting on Raw a lot lately, and with The Showcase of The Immortals just weeks away, that probably won’t change - even with the second round of DRAKE MAVERICK’s Cruiserweight championship tournament starting tomorrow night.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Her contract is signed, and her first match is lining up nicely. Ronda Rousey will be in the building where she retained her UFC bantamweight belt back in 2013, but now she works for Stephanie McMahon. And about 24 hours after Kurt Angle told Rowdy that Steph and her husband were getting ready to play her for a fool as payback for WM 31, McMahon has promised to teach Ronda to know her role when she makes her Raw debut in SoCal on Feb. 26.
- He got really emotional after being eliminated in the main event, but then John Cena remembered he’s John Cena, and that there are lots of ways for a big star to get a match at WrestleMania. While we wonder how he might “break etiquette”, remember that in addition to being booked on this show, he’s also advertised for SmackDown’s Fastlane pay-per-view (PPV) in two weeks.
- Not sure how many women’s matches will fit on the ‘Mania card. But after the rivalry between Sasha Banks and Bayley heated back up in the Chamber after The Boss broke their truce by booting Bayles off a pod, these two definitely have some issues to work out.
- Seth Rollins is so hot right now. Would be nice to get him a match for April 8. Same with his doppleganger Elias.
- His Woken ways earned him a victory over Bray Wyatt, but Matt Hardy was hinting that since Sister Abigail is really old, their feud might not be OVAH. Or something? Not sure if you noticed, but Matt is hard to understand sometimes.
- Some people (okay, it was me) thought the pre-show match between The Miztourage and Bálor Club might be leading to a Finn/Miz program. But The Revival were making fun of Anderson and Gallows on Sunday, so Dash and Dawson might be picking that feud back up.
It’s the Elimination Chamber fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?