This was a weird show.
I can honestly say I liked half of what I saw, and disliked half of what I saw. WWE 50/50-ed the whole show for me.
A lot of the comedy was a hit with me, aside from the dumb Shane McMahon and Elias song. But there were some strange decisions that made me not too excited about WrestleMania for Raw.
Right now, it’s McIntyre/Lashley, Fiend/Orton, Bad Bunny/Miz, Asuka/Ripley, and AJ and Omos/New Day. How much of this excites you?
Some of it I like, but the more main stuff is not a hit with me. We still have two weeks to go. Turn it around for me, WWE.
Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Well... more fire
Randy Orton still does not get that you can’t fight fire with... literal fire when it comes to The Fiend.
Before Orton came out, Alexa Bliss said that he should be careful what he wishes for. The idea was for Orton to summon the Fiend and put an end to it once and for all.
Orton walked out with a bag and said that it was time to put an official end to The Fiend and Alexa Bliss.
Bliss came out and wound up the... Bliss in the Box? The Fiend lighting returned, as did the screeching sound which I did not miss.
So what was in Orton’s bag?
Fiend didn’t flinch when Orton poured it on him, and then Fiend charged at him and Orton hit the RKO. Bliss got into the ring and Orton got distracted by her. He got the Mandible Claw for it. Then a Sister Abigail.
And then Bliss pointed to the sign and it was engulfed in flames. So that’s how we got The Fiend vs. Randy Orton for WrestleMania.
Come on, man. What are we doing? The presentation of the return of the crispy Fiend was good at Fastlane, and then they ruined it here. And no Firefly Fun House match? That’s the wrong call.
I’m very disappointed with this. I don’t know how to salvage it. Help me, Cagesiders.
Most of this match was rest hold city and just proved that WWE doesn’t know what they’re doing with Raw. They relied on the commentary team selling Sheamus’ match from last night as he wrestled this match as if he didn’t wrestle an Exploding ThunderDome Death Match at Fastlane.
They did this match last week. Lashley won already. There’s no need for him to “make an example” out of Sheamus as one of the commentators said. He did already.
So when Lashley made him tap out, Alexander and Benjamin pulled him out of the ring and attacked him. Who but Drew McIntyre made the save for his biggest rival not named Bobby Lashley. He then went into the ring and tried to get Lashley to fight him, but MVP calmed Lashley down and got him out of the ring.
This was a really unfortunate way to start the show. Sheamus has lost so many matches since turning on Drew and he doesn’t deserve this. Three matches in a week! Two of the three unnecessary, and both the Lashley matches.
The only thing this match did was sell dissension with Cedric and Shelton and Lashley and MVP. Sheamus had to continue being sacrificed for that. MVP said that they embarrassed the almighty both by being out there and losing the Raw tag team titles. To make good, they went to Adam Pearce to get a two on one handicap match against McIntyre, which McIntyre accepted under one condition - if he wins, Cedric and Shelton are banned from ringside at WrestleMania.
McIntyre dominated both men for the first few minutes, and went for the Claymore Kick, but Alexander pulled Benjamin out of the ring. Alexander tagged in and almost tweaked his knee on the outside. The Hurt Business then dominated the second half and worked well to put McIntyre down.
But we knew what was going to happen. After a hellacious Claymore to Alexander, McIntyre picked up the victory. Ced and Ben should just run away and not even go near MVP and Lashley. Of course they didn’t, and MVP chastised them. Then in an interesting twist, Lashley went up to a bunch of dudes in the locker room and put a bounty on Drew.
Ricochet was one of those men, and it HAS to be him. Please let it be him. I need Ricochet in the Hurt Business.
As for the rest of all of this, I’m saddened by the presentation of The Hurt Business after Lashley’s WWE title win. They immediately lost the tag titles, and now they’re imploding. Give me Ricochet in the Hurt Business, sure, but did they need to do all of this?
Drew’s just Drew. I haven’t thought about it really, but he’s been pretty one dimensional for a while. But I also don’t know how to change him up a bit to make him fresh. It’s weird.
On the plus side, Sheamus is officially done with this and going after Riddle!
Hey Hey, Hop Hop
You may think you know what my reaction to this was, but trust me... you don’t.
Miz asked who Bad Bunny thinks he is? How dare he ridicule the only double grand slam champion. Miz threw it to the tron where a WrestleMania poster showed Bad Bunny and Damian Priest, but no Miz and Morrison.
They then played their new single Hey Hey, Hop Hop a diss track to Bad Bunny and it was... very well produced actually. He challenged Bunny to a match and said his upcoming match with Jeff Hardy would serve as a display of what’s to come.
That was hilarious. Stupid, but hilarious. I laughed very hard at this. Yeah... me! Me who hates the Miz and Morrison stuff usually. THE BUNNY SUITS! HAHAHAHA! It felt like a better produced video and song, almost as if the great Bad Bunny himself was involved.
Hardy asked Miz to get Morrison away from ringside because we all know what happens. Miz surprisingly agreed. If you thought Morrison was going to come back anyway and interfere, we were in the same boat. I was very surprised.
As Miz’s hand was raised, BAD BUNNY HIM WITH A GUITAR! As of now, we have a singles match with Miz and Bunny at WrestleMania. I’m betting Morrison and Priest get added, but maybe not? Depends on if Bad Bunny actually has been training hard for a singles match. If he has, I’m game.
Bad Bunny gets it. He’s the best celebrity they’ve had on the show involved in storylines.
A-J Rocks! A-J Rocks!
Styles hyped up Omos’ debut at WrestleMania and said he’ll be teaming with the best wrestler in WWE history. He ran through New Day’s accolades and said that they can’t lose with Styles’ wrestling ability and Omos’ size.
Kingston interrupted and said they’re not a real team. Then Woods said to Omos that Styles would bring him down since he is a big man with great abilities. They then questioned how much Styles knows Omos. They asked what Omos’ favorite color, ice cream, and WWE wrestler was, and Styles failed all three questions.
Embarrassed, Styles challenged Kingston to a match.
They traded choke holds and take downs, and Styles kicked out of a pin attempt at one. Styles dove over the top rope and Kingston ducked it and took Styles down. Really clever take down into a pin by Kingston using his legs.
Kingston went for a Trouble in Paradise, but Styles kicked him right in the back of the head and man it looked nasty. He sold it so well I thought he got a concussion from it. He broke the Calf Crusher, and Styles was going for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Woods played the trumpet and distracted him.
Omos went to get Woods and Kingston took advantage to pin Styles. That was a fun match and I liked the teasing of tension between Omos and AJ. AJ is also really good with comedy and provided another laugh out loud segment for me.
Asuka defeated Peyton Royce / Rhea Ripley debuted
Asuka went for an early Asuka Lock, but Royce transitioned out for her own submission. She sent Asuka face first into a turnbuckle and suplexed her. Asuka went for the hip attack but Royce dodged it and sent Asuka to the floor. Asuka did a German suplex and a knee to Peyton’s face for a near fall. Royce had a nice sell of Asuka’s facebuster for another near fall. Royce went to the top rope with a double stomp and almost won. SHe fell to the Asuka Lock. Peyton was booked very well here.
AND THEN RHEA RIPLEY CAME OUT! She called Asuka one of the greats. She mentioned Charlotte and that she’s recovering from COVID-19. So since she’s not here, she challenged Asuka for the title at WrestleMania, and Asuka accepted! Hell yeah! She was not presented as a heel as was rumored, and I prefer it this way. I’m excited for this one.
HAHAHAHAHA THEY’RE PLAYING THE TRAIN HORN AND ENGINE REVVING SOUNDS AS BRAUN RUNS AROUND THE RING! Shane doing dumb shit was dumb and yeah of course he faked his injury so he wouldn’t have to wrestle. So dumb but the sounds were hilarious.
The Reginald Tag Team Champions defeated Mandy and Dana
Yeah this was just for the continuation of Reginald as the focal point of the women’s division. Dude can just come in and out of the ring and not get the team disqualified or get thrown out. Cool, cool, cool, cool.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?