Antonio Brown isn’t in Pittsburgh any more, but WWE for a Raw which will be there to move things farther on down the Road to WrestleMania.
The band got back together, and during the course of The Shield’s victory over Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre at Fastlane last night (Mar. 10), Seth Rollins was flying around like a man whose back wasn’t giving him too many problems.
So with a Shield reunion out of the way and a clean bill of health, we can get back to building toward his match with Universal champion Brock Lesnar. Question is... with less than a month until the 2019 Royal Rumble winner is supposed to try and slay the Beast at MetLife Stadium, what can be done to drum up interest in it?
Feuding with Lesnar is always a challenge, since the man doing it has to carry the week-to-week build with only occasional assists from Paul Heyman. This one’s been made trickier by a number of factors, not the least of which are Seth’s injury, the lackluster program with Dean Ambrose he had prior to the Rumble, and the return of Roman Reigns. You remember Seth’s other brother, the last man to beat Brock, and who never lost the red belt he earned for doing so?
Despite being in one of the matches WWE is going to call a “main event” at WrestleMania 35, Rollins feels like the least interesting member of his own (now supposedly retired) team. We don’t know what Roman will be doing in New Jersey, and we don’t even know if Ambrose will work his last Showcase of the Immortals. But those questions - which are being asked by WWE.com’s official preview for this episode - are more intriguing than Seth vs. Brock, at least right now.
At this point, I’m not sure what he, or anyone else, can do to make the Universal title feud more compelling. We’ve seen all the tricks WWE has when it comes to Brock. The match should be fine; Seth fits into the mold of the guys Lesnar is into working with these days. But given how little buzz this has, it’s hard to imagine Vince McMahon will decide to strap Rollins, especially when word is all it takes to get the current champ to stick around is a bigger check.
Oh, and Lesnar isn’t advertised for tonight. If he’s gonna burn it down at ‘Mania, Rollins is going to have re-start the fire all by himself.
The title scene
After all the twists and turns for the sake of twists and turns, we now have the Raw Women’s title Triple Threat it was rumored we always would. Ronda Rousey left her headline-grabbing worked shoot antics (which are carefully being kept off WWE’s official channels) behind and punched The Man to give her a win. Maybe the focus from here on out won’t be on scripts or injuries or McMahons, and just on Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Finn Bálor and his Intercontinental championship got Sunday night off, but he’ll put his belt on the line against his old rival Lashley on Raw. The All Mighty and his hype man Lio Rush were on the winning side of a six-man against Finn & friends last Monday, but I wouldn’t put too much stock into that, since it was likely just building Bobby, Baron & Drew up so they could put over the Hounds of Justice at Fastlane.
Even with a successful defense of the Raw Men’s Tag titles on PPV, The Revival still can’t seem to get any respect. Theirs was the only entrance not shown for the Fastlane Triple Threat with Ricochet & Aleister Black and Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, and then the NXT newcomers got the last laugh in the aftermath. Maybe if Dash & Dawson beat Black & Ricochet in a two-on-two affair, WWE will treat them a little better.
It’s a feeling Women’s Tag Team champs Sasha Banks & Bayley can relate to, as their successful defense over Nia Jax & Tamina got lost in the Samoan powerhouses post-match bulldozing of not only the Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection, but also Beth Phoenix & Natalya. The cousins vs. Divas of Doom seems like a ‘Mania match. Where does that leave the champs?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Looks like Batista is gonna give Triple H his wish and show up for a face-to-face in the ‘Burgh. Dave should explain why he felt he needed to get Haitch’s attention by any means necessary. The Game should refrain from calling Naitch anything other than Ric Flair.
- Heavy Machinery let the tag team mid-card know what happens when you hurt Dozer’s feelings, so I’d expect all those guys will be nicer to him this week.
- Elias will probably insult his hometown, and Lacey Evans will definitely walk around aimlessly.
It’s the Fastlane fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?