It’s time to go-home, ladies and gents. Elimination Chamber is right around the corner so Raw has more table to set.
Claire’s blog has you covered with play-by-play while I do the other thing.
Let’s talk Raw!
Sami & Cody
Guess who has a crisis of confidence? Sami Zayn. Guess who he approached as an elixir? No, not Kevin Owens and not a church. He went to Cody Rhodes. Sami showing up on Raw with a hoodie dropped over his head surprised everyone. Calling out Cody surprised me even more. But like the direction the whole thing took because, as per usual with anything Bloodline-related, it added depth to character while enhancing a match. If only all wrestling worked this way.
Sami doesn’t fully believe because he knows how Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, etc. operate. As he pointed out, he knows how the Bloodline thinks, he knows how they move, and he knows every dirty deed in their bag. And of course he knows because he helped make them stronger. It’s one thing to have a familiarity with your opponent but it’s something very different when that familiarity comes from being a part of the crew. Cody pointed out that Sami made the Bloodline weaker. Effectively, he made a god king bleed. So why not focus on that rather than doubt himself? Well, again, Sami’s seen bigger and stronger cats miss when going at the king. But Cody doesn’t buy that even a bit. I’m not sure if Cody and Sami is a thing but I do appreciate adding this wrinkle to make us think it might. And if it does, they planted plenty seeds.
Cody put his money on Sami even if Sami isn’t quite sure. Cody doesn’t want to see Sami on Raw next week; he wants to see him at WrestleMania. Cody gives a hell of a pep talking using him as Sami’s fan club president plays into what Cody does best. Both men fully believed every word they said and that got me into it as well. Sami walked away with his head up just a bit more but he’s obviously not fully there yet. Will he get there by Saturday? That’s the ultimate question and the main reason Sami and Roman might break Montreal.
The six women competing in the Elimination Chamber for Bianca Belair’s title got the shock of their life. Raw kicked off with Adam Pearce making a triple threat match between Belair, Becky Lynch, and Bayley. If Becky or Bayley picked up the W, then they get a seventh spot in that Chamber. But if Bianca wins, then nothing changes.
Yeah, well, nothing changed and I’m a tad confused.
While we no doubt got an important and impressive main event, I’m left wondering what was the point. Damage CTRL, along with the six contestants, took advantage of the no DQ stipulation. The six women didn’t want Becky or Bayley anywhere near the Chamber while Damage CTRL lent Bayley a hand because duh. It felt like a lot of unnecessary chaos but also provided the perfect conditions for a Bayley or Becky win with all the commotion.
But here we are with Bianca pinning Bayley for the W after Becky dropped Bayley with the Manhandle Slam and Bianca dropped Becky on top of Bayley with the KOD.
This match, and the lack of follow up with Lita’s appearance last week just puzzles me. Now, maybe Lita shows up at Elimination Chamber and we get more on that. But until then, I don’t know where this leaves Becky and Bayley. Nor do I see how this helps either woman. Bianca vanquishes her two biggest threats going into Mania, so she’s cool and the gang. The six contestants have one less threat on their plate, so they’re golden as well. But Bayley and Becky are adrift at the moment.
Why do this match if nothing changes? I really don’t get it.
Mami’s Valentines Gift
Get you someone who loves you the way Rhea Ripley loves Dom Dom. After the Judgment Day defeated the Street Profits, they tried adding insult to injury because they’re jerks. Edge’s music hit and the Rated R Superstar rushed ringside followed by Beth Phoenix. Beth positioned Dominik for the Glam Slam but not so fast said Rhea. Mami surprised Beth, and Brooklyn, saved her boo thang, and left Beth lying in the middle of the ring as Edge consoled his wife.
Good way to add some more juice to this match at Elimination Chamber. The only thing that might make the match better is Dom replacing Finn Balor. A man can dream.
Hook, Line, and Stinker
Of course Bobby Lashley signed the contract for a match with Brock Lesnar. The fact Brock fell for Lashley’s trap as the All Mighty sat at his table on the entrance ramp says Lesnar still isn’t that bright. We like him because he’s the proverbial bull inside the China shop, but Lashley is smarter. I’m not sure how or if that plays into the match but I do look forward to whatever happens that gets us closer to the Hurt Business. Lashley worked a little heel for this segment and that does interest me going forward.
Asuka, Carmella, & Nikki Cross battled Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, & Natalya in what was effectively an Elimination Chamber preview. It broke down early eventually turned into Asuka laying out everyone, including her teammates, and getting the submission W over Liv. If that was the plan. I’d prefer they just have the women beat each other up in a locker room brawl.
Baron Corbin tried recovering from JBL verbally knocking him out last week, but I’m not sure he did. Besides the fact he found himself in an impromptu match with Cody, who handled Corbin easily while still wearing dress pants, he was also rocking his “modern day wrestling god” t-shirt. You can’t decry JBL, call him a has-been, and kick dirt on everything about the man but still wear the t-shirt associated with JBL. But, seeing as how he got beat by a man wearing dress pants, I guess that’s par for the course.
Ali, I have Questions
Bronson Reed destroyed Mustafa Ali in a match Ali wanted. He claimed if he faced Bronson, he’d be in the Elimination Chamber instead of Dolph Ziggler. Yeah, that didn’t happen. But more importantly, what are we doing with Ali? He comes off like a whiner and complains way too much. Taking the Ls aren’t helping either. So what’s the breaking point and when does he finally get Ziggler in a match? The fact Ziggler isn’t even asking for a match shows just how insignificant Ali truly is on Raw at the moment.
Seth, Miz, & Austin
Seth Rollins curb stomped Miz in Astro Boy boots. That’s all that matters.
Okay no, we also got Austin Theory showing up during Miz TV. But only after Miz and Seth Rollins went awry. Miz wanted to know why Seth keeps ignoring Logan Paul. In fact, he refuses to even say Logan’s name. Clearly this is more set up for Seth and Logan at Mania, which I really want to see.
Maxim’s Models finally made a move towards Otis and I love it. Calling him OTIIS (not sure if you get the inflection) and sowing dissension seeds in the Alpha Academy is great comedic fodder.
This was a fine go home show but the main event really left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because of the wrestling, but because I don’t understand the logic. That said, we got some good things going into Elimination Chamber as well. A mixed show with smiles on one hand and question marks on the other.
Those are my thoughts, right or wrong. Just how I felt at the time. What are yours?