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Raw recap & reactions (Mar. 6, 2022): This is for my dogs

Jey Uso finally makes his choice several WrestleMania matches get the green light, while seeds blossom for a few more.

The Choice is Yours

I’m hurt. Straight up and down, I need consoling. One part of this Bloodline story that works so well is how it manipulates the audience’s emotions. And yes, manipulation is a good thing.

Starting with the show’s opening minutes, WWE threaded this beef throughout the show. If you read beyond these words, you’ll see how that played out in the first match and the pressure on Jimmy Uso’s shoulders. After that opening bout, Paul Heyman pulled Jimmy aside and made it clearer than white crystal that if Jimmy doesn’t bring Jey back into the fold by week’s end, that’s on him. I especially liked Paul pointing at Jimmy’s chest with a finger gun. Paul didn’t make it into a big deal but the subtlety made his words that much more menacing. Jimmy knows Roman’s wrath all too well, so he knew the deal even without Paul’s words.

With KO still standing, it fell on Jimmy to not only eliminate Sami but fix things with Jey. No pressure.

Jimmy started the match with Sami extra aggressive. Both men, who bonded and created a beautiful friendship, found themselves at odds now with nothing but bitter feelings for each other. But Jimmy’s desperation showed in the early goings. He not only explained his actions verbally but pounded away at Sami whenever he got the chance while giving Solo several openings for interference. Jimmy almost took a count out victory! That’s how much beating Sami,or at least getting Sami into prime beatdown position, meant this week for one Jimmy Uso. Fittingly for the story but unfortunately for Jimmy, the ref dismissed Solo as the street champ tried asserting himself one time too many.

And that’s when everything changed. That’s when the reasoning behind this match main eventing Raw revealed itself literally with a spotlight.

Jey Uso appeared in the stands and hit the ring with the swiftness of someone rushing to a sneaker drop. Jimmy and Sami laid down and out in the ring while Jey yelled encouraging words. But for whom? Well, we got that answer after Sami eked out a victory and left Jimmy stunned in the middle of the ring.

Jey stepped in the ring and looked at his brother. He pulled his brother’s shirt, he looked conflicted, he looked hurt. Jey then literally turned his back on Jimmy and walked out of the ring where Sami stood in awe just like everyone in Boston and me from my couch.

Jey and Sami locked eyes like two characters in a romantic comedy. Would they hug? Would they fight? Would they make a dinner date that one of them misses due to a misunderstanding? After teasing and maximizing the tension in the arena, Jey told Sami he trusted him and they inched towards each other. And then they hugged!

It was the best. It’s the one thing I wanted from this whole story and Boston felt the same way. But when the show didn’t flash the credit on screen and the two looked at a heartbroken Jimmy in the ring, my heart sank. I got my hopes up that Sami and Jey might walk into the sunset together, one’s held high and a beautiful friendship solidified. But I felt the gut punch coming. And when it did, it looked and sounded a lot like a Superkick to Sami’s chin.

You broke my heart, Jey. You broke my heart.

Jey told Sami “this is family sh*t” and no way he picks Sami over his brother. Everything after that just rushed by because that hurt. Solo showed up again once Jey threw Sami into the ring and a three on one beatdown commenced. Then, surprisingly but smartly, Cody Rhodes made the save.

Cody showing up makes perfect sense given his brief interactions with Sami, KO’s feelings, and the fact that tying Cody into this story only accentuates his own. He had Roman’s attention before. Now he has his curiosity. Only for Roman, curiosity feels a lot like ire.

This whole thing hurt and props to everyone involved for breaking my heart into a million pieces even though I knew better. It’s like that college girlfriend who I kept forgiving even though I knew better.

The problems of being a naive optimist.



Raw used most of its first half hour advancing Bloodline vs. Kevin Owens. Which, of course, meant getting inches closer to the moment Sami Zayn and KO hug it out. So how did they accomplish all of that? KO faced Solo Sikoa in a one-on-one which evolved into two-on-one when Jimmy Uso hit the scene.

Solo owned KO for the most part because Solo’s dominance is its own mini story inside of the larger story. KO held his own, another reason Jimmy emerged, but keeping Solo looking like the biggest bad ass this side of badassery meant KO leaving Boston with an L felt like the best bet. Except we can’t do that either going into Mania, especially when this feud isn’t really about wins and losses as much as it’s about eradication.

Jimmy hit the ring because Roman Reigns gave him and Solo orders to solve all of their problems. Tonight. Solo’s face rarely shows any sense of...well, anything really except anger. But Jimmy beautifully portrays fear and anxiousness when it comes to losing or not doing what the Tribal Chief commands.

That’s why when KO found his third wind doing the third act and almost got the W, Jimmy interfered and gave KO the DQ win. But, like I said, this is about eradication. Jimmy and Solo execute a beautiful post match beatdown, then dragged KO’s lifeless body to the commentary table for a Solo attack.

The calvary showed up looking a lot like Sami, and he chased away the Bloodline with a chair. Anyone looking for a handshake moment between Sami and KO walked away sorely disappointed. Sami extended his hand, once again, but KO isn’t feeling it yet.

Later on Raw, Sami tried appealing to KO’s logic, yet again. Regardless of the odds, regardless of how smart teaming with Sami sounds, KO wants no affiliation with his former best friend. Even Sami saying they don’t need to travel together or even hang out casually, KO didn’t budge. And I loved all of it because it feels real. It’s storytelling one does when using real life context and turning up the volume. You know, when pro wrestling works at its best.

Light work?

I initially thought about Bianca Belair taking Carmella lightly since she seemed more focused on showboating than showing up and showing out. I even thought about going with Chelsea Green’s appearance because she and Mella together entertained me and elicited several hearty chuckles. But then Green interfered, Bianca still got the W even while dealing with that extra pair of hands, and then Asuka made the save after Green and Mella showed they’re sore losers.

And then it hit me that this build for Asuka and Bianca just isn’t working for me. It feels like WWE relying on the championship and the names involved as the selling point rather than finding an actual narrative. Almost like a repeat of AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania a few years ago. I predict the next step is Bianca & Asuka tagging against Mella & Green, the two have some sort of misunderstanding or keep showing how much they respect each other and then it continues into Mania.

Both women, and that championship, deserve better.

Strange Days

I generally like whatever Mustafa Ali does. I think he’s one of the most creative cats in wrestling and said creativity often goes nowhere due to things out of his control. But this passive aggressive positive character misses me entirely. He got Dolph a match with Omos, who, of course, disposed Ziggler in no time. Omos looking hot going into Mania against Brock makes sense but whew it’s just tough watching Omos. Even tougher watching him beat Ziggler with Mustafa sitting ringside with fans and a sign in his hand. This whole segment felt like a black hole for me.


I have a hard time explaining what John Cena did this week in Boston. Cena came out and Austin Theory quickly followed. Yes, we have a match between the two at Mania for the United States championship but what cost to Austin? Speaking for myself, Cena said everything I feel about Austin Theory. But I’ll let him do the talking because you gotta see this for yourself. No matter how much time he spends in Hollywood, or how big that bald spot gets, Cena still has it.

The Edge of Reason

Edge is tired of games. He interfered in Finn Balor’s match against Johnny Gargano and cost Finn a win in a match he demanded. Edge wants Balor in the middle of the ring next week because now they’re affecting their careers so let’s cut the games and get with the program.

I like Edge cutting through the normal wrestling rigamarole and cutting to the chase. In fact, that’s one thing I really like about Edge since his comeback. He mostly operates outside the tropes and on the occasions where he finds himself inside of one, he elevates it and moves away. Really curious how this plays out next week since we all know the ultimate destination.

Crush on You

Piper Niven beat up Candice LeRae backstage, then went to the ring and decimated her old friend Nikki Cross.

Yup, that’s all you need to know.

Poor (Un)Righteous Teacher

Maxim’s Models really want Otis but know Chad Gable stands in the way. Corbin continues his bum ways and somehow thought Maxxine, Mace, and Mansoor had eyes on him instead of Otis. Maxxine, offended of course, made a deal with Baron: eliminate Chad and maybe he gets a spot in the crew.

Yeah, well, he didn’t.

Baron works best as a bum and it’s fun watching everyone tear him down. Especially MMM since all three members teed off on the guy’s lack of hair, style, charisma, you name it.

I still want to know how this all ends for Alpha Academy. My fear is they drag this thing out too long or it goes nowhere.

Visionary vs. Social Media

Miz TV rocked this week as we finally got Seth Rollins and Logan Paul in the same ring at the same time. I’ll let them speak for themselves because, much like Cena and Theory’s segment, it demands your attention. Bottomline? Paul vs. Rollins at Mania is official.


Speaking of official, Damage CTRL vs. Becky Lynch, Lita, & Trish Stratus...might happen at WrestleMania. The tag champs and Trish issued the challenge, Bayley accepted on her team’s behalf, but we got no official announcement. Always a weird thing WWE does where wrestlers make a match or issue challenges but they take forever to make it official. On the other hand, some times matches get made in the ring and become official instantly. Just asking for some consistency.

The Bloodline stuff, Cena, and the main event specifically rocked my world this week. Raw featured a bunch of solid matches that never truly got to “great” or even “very good” status because this week really focused on story.

As someone into wrestling for the stories, that pleased me. Even though some of the stories don’t work for me or seem absent, props for putting a lot of things in motion as April 1 & 2 gets closer.

How do you feel, people? Did Raw work for you as we head to Hollywood or did it leave you wanting? And are your feelings as hurt as mine?

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