This was a terrible show.
All over the place and full of the weirdest and most questionable booking. Raw has been balancing itself between decent to good for the past few weeks, but my goodness this was garbage.
But, throughout the garbage and awful crap, I have WWE to thank for this week’s recap. Why? Because for the first time (and only time) I’m taking a page out of WWE’s playbook and I am distributing the Raw report card!
Every single storyline is getting a grade in this recap. Yes. Every single one. And at the end, I will give my usual grade for the show.
WWE, it’s time for your parent/teacher conference.
Don’t expect to stop for ice cream before going home.
Let’s get to the show! For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
How do we not start off with the segment that molded this recap?
Shane McMahon, the most boring promo in WWE today, droned on about Buh-Buh-Buh-Braun and showed us his Fifth grade report card. A couple of D- grades, a D, and a D+. Scandalous. Apparently Strowman was disruptive in Social Studies and that may make him a bully.
Then, the Dunce cap picture. Just rolled on the floor laughing at that. Top tier comedy.
Strowman made his way out, and McMahon made his way out of the ring so that Strowman could face Jaxson Ryker.
Strowman kicked Ryker into the turnbuckle and McMahon and Elias both took turns distracting Braun until it finally worked.
Choo-choo time and he only took out Ryker, and then he powerslammed Ryker for the win.
Strowman then announced that at WrestleMania, his match with Shane will be a steel cage match so that his goons can’t interfere.
But... we know that steel cages don’t really stop anyone from interfering. Anyone who’s ever watched wrestling should know this. So, congratulations Braun. You just proved Shane right. You really are stupid.
Storyline grade: D-
Hurt Business break-up
The Almighty champion and the rest of the Hurt Business started off the show.
MVP had Lashley announce that the person who took out Drew McIntyre before their WrestleMania match would take his spot at the show. They want to give someone else an opportunity instead of McIntyre who’s had his time.
MVP then allowed the truck to replay last week’s loss that meant Alexander and Benjamin were barred from ringside. Lashley berated them for not being able to count on them anymore. His promo work tonight was definitely off for some reason, and I do feel bad about it because it’s live TV pal. I would never want to be in that position.
After calling them failures, MVP told them to explain themselves. Benjamin took heavy offense to it and started shoving MVP, so Lashley decided to attack Alexander instead, and it all broke down. Lashley put Benjamin down and said the Hurt Business is done.
One of the biggest positives I can state is how I legitimately mark out for Bobby Lashley’s entrance. It is truly God-like, and obviously the exact feeling it’s supposed to give off. Having said that, I am very frustrated about this.
There was no need to break up the Hurt Business before WrestleMania. Just a few weeks ago this was a dominant faction with titles around all waists. The moment Lashley won the WWE title, it went downhill. Why? That should have been when it went uphill, not downhill! One week later, Cedric and Shelton lost the tag titles. One week!
Shelton and Cedric approached Adam Pearce and said that Benjamin wanted Lashley tonight, and Alexander wanted him next week.
Pearce made the match, and Lashley and Benjamin had their match. Benjamin attacked Lashley to start the match, and was able to take him down. Shelton legitimately looks like a bad ass next to Lashley, and there are few on the roster who look like they could legitimately go with him. His WrestleMania opponent is certainly one of the only other ones.
Lashley regained control and sent Benjamin into the post on the outside. Lashley got rocked by some knees, but reversed it on Benjamin again and locked in the Hurt Lock to win.
They were doing so well with this until Lashley won the WWE title. They could have told an easy story where the Hurt Business breaks down as a result of Lashley losing the title to Drew. It was so easy, WWE.
Storyline grade: D
Drew was a dick
Drew McIntyre had quite an evening.
He knew of the target on his back, and got antsy halfway through the show. So he just went into the locker room and... started provoking guys. Yeah. Super babyface stuff there. He straight up attacked Humberto Carrillo, Angel Garza, and Drew Gulak, and then walked up to Ricochet. Ricochet said he knew he would come to him if he wanted a match, and McIntyre said he’d see him in the ring.
Drew was pretty douchey in this segment.
Ricochet got into the ring with McIntyre and McIntyre launched him all over the ring. F-in launched him. Wow. Ricochet hit a knee strike and knocked the behemoth down and McIntyre kicked out at 1.
McIntyre tossed Ricochet into the steel steps but he leaped up onto the barricade, ran around, and drop kicked McIntyre. That was legitimately dope. What a great sense of urgency that was.
Ricochet went to the top rope for the 630, McIntyre got out of the way and Claymore kicked him for the win.
All of a sudden, Mustafa Ali attacked Drew and he was next in line to try and get his WWE title match. He held McIntyre’s arm in the ropes to weaken him. He tried taking out the Claymore Kick leg, too. Smart! Ali did a splash to Drew’s leg for a two count.
Drew then did a ridiculous belly to belly suplex and then another two launching belly to belly suplexes like he did with Ricochet. McIntyre counted down and hit the Claymore Kick to win once again.
Both of those matches were actually decent and made me sad for how little we’ll probably continue to see Ricochet and Ali for the rest of the year.
McIntyre called out Lashley and Lashley came out and said he didn’t need anyone’s help because he almost ended his career at Elimination Chamber. Drew admitted his ass was beat at that show and no one is like Lashley. He proved that Lashley is afraid of McIntyre.
Lashley and McIntyre brawled and McIntyre did the Glasgow headbutt to Lashley. All of a sudden Baron Corbin attacked Drew and did the Deep Six to take him out. Lashley put Drew in three Hurt Locks and Lashley and Corbin stood over Drew to close the show.
Remember two years ago, these three men were a group? My does time fly. So I don’t know what to make of Corbin randomly showing up here since he’s on SmackDown and wasn’t in the locker room backstage when Drew was pitching a fit.
This was really just all over the place. Nothing will likely come of Ricochet and Ali getting involved, or any of the other guys in the locker room that interacted with Drew. Corbin is on Raw now, I guess?
Corbin was probably supposed to add intrigue, but that didn’t do anything for me. And I’ll say that’s most likely because this show was so all over the place and just the drizzling shits. Maybe if I didn’t sit through three hours of shit I would have had a better reaction to this.
Another great way to build to a WrestleMania match.
Storyline grade: D+
Fiend in a box
Randy Orton did some more speaking on Alexa Bliss and The Fiend.
He said he’s been privileged to face legends throughout his career. None of those men compare to The Fiend.
He had to get rid of the Fiend so he chose to burn the Fiend alive, and no man should have survived that. Orton said he ignored the fact that the Fiend is not a man. He is an abomination from hell.
He thought that Bliss was playing mind games with him. But that doesn’t matter because he will dig down deep and go far into hell to make sure that the Fiend is out of his life once and for all.
Later, Alexa Bliss hosted the Playground and said that her jack in the box is so much more than normal.
Centuries ago, they were called devil in the box and held a demonic presence in them. At TLC, He was weakened after getting burned alive. All Orton did was trap The Fiend in Bliss’ box, and he needed time to return.
She said Orton’s biggest mistake was him thinking he knew what was next. Her hint - at WrestleMania, the legend killer dies.
Still a gigantic mistake not making this a Firefly Fun House match. I guess they could announce it next week, but I doubt it.
Orton is a great talker, Bliss is as well, but neither of them could even sell me a ticket for this anymore. I’m just ready for it to be finished.
Storyline grade: D
Didn’t I just see this?
There was a match between Naomi and Shayna Baszler.
Good for her, but that didn’t matter because none of it was actually about the in ring work. The Reginald division top star was the basis of her winning.
Asuka and Rhea Ripley, whom, if you didn’t wish so badly she wasn’t slotted into the division on Raw at this point, I don’t know what it will take, had a contract signing.
Asuka called Ripley over-confident, and Ripley responded by saying that she’s now confident in saying she’ll beat Asuka at WrestleMania. They signed the contract and Asuka said her confidence is borrowed, and was about to say she wasn’t ready for Asuka. Ripley decided to interrupt and flip the table over onto Asuka.
And then Nia, Shayna, and the star of The Reginald division came out and proceeded to re-hash exactly what was done on the SmackDown Reginald division by making a tag team match between the top title holder and the challenger at WrestleMania.
The exact. Same. Thing.
So next week, Asuka and Rhea Ripley will face Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a tag team match. Just like they did with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
The top title holders in each Reginald division are destined to forever be wrapped up in programs with the tag team champions.
Storyline grade: D
Giving it away for free
Vince McMahon is obsessed with making Riddle look like the biggest stonerhead dork, which is just hilarious to me because that was supposedly the one thing that he had to change about himself in order to get hired by WWE.
He scootered into Titus O’Neil backstage, and congratulated him for the “roast” at WrestleMania. The roast. He confused roast with co-host of course, which Titus explained was his role at the show with noted racist Hulk Hogan. Then Titus left and Sheamus blindsided Riddle before their match.
We’ll get into more of my feelings of their even being a match on this show in a moment.
Riddle and Sheamus were trying to wear each other down and Sheamus got the first pin attempt. There was a very loud slap to Riddle’s ribs that legitimately sounded like something snapping. Riddle locked in a sleeper and it brought Sheamus down, but not for long. Sheamus clotheslined Riddle and stomped on his hand.
Riddle drop kicked Sheamus through the ropes and did the floating Bro to the floor. Sheamus went for an Alabama slam and Riddle countered with the Broton. Riddle locked in a triangle hold and Sheamus got to the ropes. And then Sheamus got a near fall from a White Noise to the apron.
Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick and Riddle stopped him, but Sheamus did a hard knee strike to the face and got the win. As Sheamus celebrated, Riddle attacked him and said he’s going to get what’s coming to him.
Well what a surprise! The champion got pinned and attacked the heel winner after the match. And on the road to WrestleMania??? What could that mean???
We know exactly what that means, and they could have gotten there without this match. We can’t just get a couple of brawl segments and a contract signing or something? We’ve already seen the match now. We’ve seen the wrestle each other prior to this.
You don’t have to beat champions in order to get a match with them. Be more creative than this!
Storyline grade: C
Bunny sucker punch
John Morrison’s hair is so big because he’s holding a lot of secrets in it.
That was literally the most hilarious thing on the whole show. This I legitimately burst out laughing at.
So - Hey Hey, Hop Hop. It sucked. Do I need to remind anyone that WrestleMania is less than two weeks away, and this is the shit they’re putting on television? This video was so long, so unnecessarily long.
When they showed Miz and Morrison dancing to their song, all I could do was stare at the faces in the ThunderDome and shake my head. Some people actually getting into it and some dude behind Miz laughing at Miz’s fake tears after the video was over. How there were still so many faces in the ThunderDome after this speaks to those people’s true fandom of WWE.
My ass would have been outta there.
After that, Bad Bunny and Damian Priest came out to say that Bunny will make Miz his bitch, and Bad Bunny sucker punched Miz. Whatever material that shirt Priest was wearing made him look very good. Look at that shirt.
Bad Bunny is an internationally known superstar. This is how they’re building to his match at WrestleMania. Top of the hour shitty music videos with two dorks in bunny costumes.
Storyline grade: D+
Damian Priest: A+ for that shirt
It’s game night on Monday Night Raw!
Omos played the continuity role this week and wore a mauve shirt. Styles agreed to play the games to show that he and Omos are a well oiled machine.
Game 1 was charades. New Day won. Styles and Omos lost.
Game 2 was Pictionary. New Day won. Styles and Omos lost.
They then still decided to go along with the planned match of the evening between Styles and Woods. Would have been totally fine to just have game night be the segment, but nah let’s have yet another match between two guys who will be wrestling at WrestleMania.
Woods did the tornado DDT and climbed to the top rope, but Omos started pulling Styles out of the ring, and then he threw Woods into the ring, causing a disqualification. He threw Kingston over the barricade and charged at Woods in the corner. Styles threw Woods into Omos and Omos picked him up high and slammed him down on the mat.
It was nice to see Omos a bit more physical than usual to give us a taste of what to expect at WrestleMania. Though after the games, I really didn’t care about any of this.
Storyline grade: C-
And that’s the show, Cagesiders. Who’s pumped for WrestleMania 37?
What were your thoughts?