There’s your WrestleMania 35 main event.
Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey.
I could talk about Rousey’s match with Bayley – which was fun but could have used Bayley taking on more of Lynch’s edginess and flaunting the Four Horsewomen sign, in my opinion – but why? That’s not the story here. The story is that despite Rousey doing all the “right things,” the crowd booed her to bits on this show. She’s out here preaching about making your dreams come true, she’s holding open title shots, and it still doesn’t matter.
She’s not The Man.
Some folks will say that Rousey totally flubbed her promo before the match, by the way. I’d agree with them...and yet it’s perfect for this story. Rousey is great when everything’s going her way. But as soon as she faces any adversity to her image, insecurity rises to the surface and she loses her cool.
Rousey threatened to kill Lynch with her bare hands, y’all! AND BECKY NO SOLD THE THREAT, SMUGLY SMILING IN RONNIE’S FACE!
Lynch is just...what words can I use? She’s on a completely different level in terms of fan investment. She’s on a completely different level in character work. And her promo in Rousey’s face was yet again on a completely different level.
“...The last time I was on your show, I dropped you right about there. And yet you didn’t come looking for me, wanting to prove that you’re the Baddest Woman on the Planet. So I came looking for you, to prove that you’re not.”
Everything was going so wonderfully for Seth Rollins.
After winning the Royal Rumble, Rollins came out to celebrate his victory with the fans. Papa Triple H came out to share a tear with his protégé and gruffly congratulate him on returning to form. Rollins even got a win over his longtime rival Dean Ambrose to cap things off.
But then...you know. He decided to try to fight Brock Lesnar.
Paul Heyman joined his client to end the show and basically advised Rollins to pick Daniel Bryan for his match at WrestleMania. Because who on earth would ever decide to willingly get pummeled by the Beast?
Rollins, apparently. He got in Lesnar’s face and hit him with a couple of strikes to Lesnar’s injured gut...but it was all for naught. Lesnar quickly countered into an F-5. And then another. And another. And another. And another. And another...
Uh. Rollins. You wanna rethink that decision?
It’s actually a bit funny with context. The crowd was chanting “slay the Beast!” to open the show and uh...yeah. They weren’t chanting at all by the end.
I’d also be extremely entertained if Rollins decided to take Heyman’s advice after that beating. He won’t, of course, but still.
Elias is a baddie again
WWE, you can’t rush this stuff.
After opening the Royal Rumble against Jeff Jarrett, Elias decided to turn heel tonight. He told the fans that they should be giving him standing ovations and cheering him wildly...so they did. He insulted them, but it didn’t stick.
So Jarrett made an appearance alongside Road Dogg where they tried to show up the young musician/wrestler and it didn’t go so well for the former superstars. Elias smashed them both with a guitar and got boos briefly before the crowd chanted “Waaaaalk Walk with Elias...”
So what to we make of this, Cageside? This was a pretty lame turn, in my opinion, and it clearly didn’t work.
Nia Jax and Tamina def. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James – This was a qualifying match for the Women’s Tag Team Titles and it wasn’t my favorite. It’s all centered on Jax and I’m just not a fan of her recent work. She also hit Ambrose with a forearm and like...what’s the point? What’s the payoff to Jax hitting dudes? Is one of them going to strike back? Am I supposed to cheer that?
Baron Corbin def. Kurt Angle – The story here was that Angle’s still trying to recover mentally from his loss in November to Drew McIntyre. Corbin had cost Angle his job, and yet he still couldn’t get the job done. He even lost to a non-finisher move!
...Commentary was also extremely – and even detrimentally – loud and argumentative during this one. Chill, y’all.
Finn Balor’s consolation prize – Balor lost to Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble after giving the Beast a massive amount of trouble. That’s nice, Finn. Now go back to the mid card.
This is literally the worst-case scenario for Balor, in my opinion. It’s such a cheap consolation prize to make Lesnar “believe,” whatever that means. Bobby Lashley beat Balor up some more after Lio Rush claimed that he’s bigger, faster, and better than Lesnar. Yeah, that’s a laugh.
The Revival def. Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins – The lovable loser has become the lovable losers. I’m looking forward to the story they can tell to their first victory, though.
The Riott Squad def. Natalya and Dana Brooke – This was another tag title qualifier and Natalya’s team never had a shot. Brooke was trash talking her partner before the match and after Natalya’s night at the Rumble...yeah.
Braun Strowman def. Drew McIntyre via DQ – Pretty crazy to see where Strowman’s at these days, eh? Corbin and McIntyre used him once upon a time, and now they’re chokeslamming him into some steps. Life comes at you fast.
I thought the show was really all about the two main belts on Raw. Those stories were awesome. Everything else? Not great. The Rousey/Lynch face off was A+++ though and enough to get the show an above average grade.