I did not like the closing of Elimination Chamber. After cooling down, I thought about the benefit of having Lashley helping Miz. It was definitely to give Lashley a title fight.
Turns out that is exactly what was the plan. Good! Lashley has been super protected for months and he honestly deserves a title fight. Honestly, he deserves to be a champion.
They started with that on this show, aaaa and then shenanigans and baits and swings galore. Braun Strowman has to be involved, Shane McMahon has to be involved, and now Bobby has to fight to get what he’s owed.
Oh, and now Bobby will face Miz next week. The only problem is, this is wrestling. You know what happens next week. More bait and change! Someone is interfering. They have to drag it and extend it to Fastlane.
So if you want to have the party in Fastlane, just … announce it to Fastlane. But what will they do if they don’t bait and switch, jam and disqualify? That’s the easy and lazy way to do it. Bleh.
Let’s go to the main successes and mistakes of this program. For a full summary of Raw, check out the Rev. Claire Elizabeth’s Live Blog.
Bobby Lashley is MY WWE Champion
WWE Champion Miz came out to start Raw.
He talked about how people thought he would be fired within three months in WWE 16 years ago. Name dropped Batista, Cena, Rock, and Bobby Lashley because they weren’t up to his longevity. Then MVP came out and Lashley and MVP mentioned the deal they made last night. Miz tried to sneak away and Lashley gave him an hour to make up his mind.
This was easily from Bobby Lashley better promo since he returned to WWE. To be honest, I would totally watch the reality show “How Lashley Sent Me to the ER.” Did you see that suit? My God, all of you. As soon as he left, I said “that’s MY WWE Champion!” The guy looked amazing. Miz played his role well here. Actually, he didn’t bother me and I didn’t care about the promotion.
By the way, Miz’s “side plates” were the generic WWE side plates that come with the main titles just reversed to look like M’s. That’s pretty brilliant.
Then it was time for Miz to reveal his decision, to which he simply decided that he needed more time. Lashley didn’t like that, but neither did Braun Strowman because he decided to come out of the closet. He tried to arm Adam Pearce in a title fight for himself, but then Shane McMahon came out and said that if he beats Lashley later, they will add him to the title fight next week.
Lashley and Strowman held back and beat each other up. Lashley tried to place the Hurt Lock but couldn’t because you know … It’s Strowman. Strowman was able to get Lashley into powerslam and Lashley was sent off. Lashley attacked Strowman and won. Miz tried to attack and received chokeslam and throws for his problems.
A great and commanding performance from Lashley, and I already know what will happen next week. As a rich and evil bastard would say, “there is no chance in hell.” Lashley is due out next week with the title. You don’t have Braun in the match, but that doesn’t mean Braun won’t be there! Plus, Drew was nowhere to be found this week, so you can bet he’ll probably be showing up next week as well.
This is predictable and not the good kind.
The best pairing in modern history
Bad Bunny and Damian Priest were backstage and Priest saw Truth in a corner with a referee.
Truth tried to play, and then she said “my bad, Bunny”, which made me howl. The most fun Truth had felt had been in months.
Priest lined Garza’s clothes and was about to fall immediately. Garza took off his pants and threw them at Bunny. How do you dare. Garza drop kicked Priest in the face and started making fun of Bad Bunny.
Garza was wearing Priest out, but he seemed to almost enjoy the pain with his facial expression. But my God is cruel when he’s angry. I thought the match was going to end pretty quickly, but they were setting up a Garza / Bunny showdown and not the Travolta / Cage type. Priest took advantage of the distraction and was victorious.
Then some 24/7 familiar faces ran into the ring and Priest took out two of them, while Bunny threw Gulak over the top rope.
Yes, I don’t want Bad Bunny off my TV screen anytime soon. The 24/7 title is the most prestigious and it will probably never reach this status again when it finally breaks out of the star.
Unless… I don’t know that Beyonce or Taylor Swift will come in and win.
Is Randy Orton okay?
Look, this was a wild promo where Orton was just talking about being distracted.
Not distracted by The Fiend, no, distracted by Alexa Bliss. Orton released a bundle of Bliss videos at his Fiend revival last week.
And then came the blood.
What made this epic was actually the reaction of the announcers when they cut into the ring. Howl, all of you. That shit was funny.
Riddle defeated John Morrison
Morrison opted for a standing shooting star press, and Riddle dodged it for a triangular presentation. The wrench supplement to Riddle couldn’t push him away. Morrison had this nasty submission, but then they spilled out and Morrison’s knee seemed to fail. Riddle supplements Morrison in the hardest part of the ring. Riddle has great sprints in his matches where every move matters. Morrison’s Spanish Fly got him a close knockdown but fell to a Derek brother. Morrison and Riddle have great ring chemistry with each other.
New Day defeated RETRIBUTION
T-Bar started with Woods and Woods wasn’t too offended. Mace and Kingston took over and got the same result. Mace and T-Bar double-chokeslam Kingston, and then Ali tried to get them to do it again, but he hit Trouble in Paradise on both men and got the pin on T-Bar. Ali took the mic afterward and berated the group for failing him over and over again. Interested to see where this is going. To be honest, wouldn’t I mind if Ali dumped one or more of these members and recruited a new one or two?
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Charlotte Flair and Asuka
Asuka started with Baszler and Flair could be seen in her corner totally out of place. They were able to duplicate the team champs and it started to look like she was coming out of it. Baszler was torturing Asuka by twisting her arm and Jax continued with the pain. Flair was eventually tagged again and somewhat offended both women. They were able to isolate Charlotte, but she fought back and Charlotte made Jax break a four on Baszler. Flair tagged Asuka and cleared the house, but mischief ensued. Asuka was kicked in the head by Flair and lost the match. I thought Charlotte was finally turning on her “friend” but they were teasing Asuka. No Please.
Charlotte saw her father backstage and they did some serious damage control on all of that by making it clear that Ric is not the father and that he was only doing Ric Flair stuff last week. She said she wanted to elevate the women’s division by being behind the Raw women’s title image and Charlotte had a decent promo telling her to go home and that she wants to be alone.
AJ Styles defeated Ricochet
Ricochet set himself on fire to start this match. Styles’ snap suplex in the corner looked nasty. Ricochet is a great seller. Ric got angry and hit Styles, but Styles hit him in the throat. They hit him in the face and then put him in a Styles Clash and my gosh the sale of all of this was incredible. Omos grabbed Ricochet’s inert body, lifted it high, and dropped it. Man Ricochet is amazing. That blue team too … * kiss from the chef * Quick victory for Styles and strong demonstration for Omos. I just have to accept that this is Ricochet’s career in WWE.
The Hurt Business defeated Lucha House Party
This time we had a tornado tag, which was nice to continue sowing the seeds of dissent when MVP was trying to focus them. LHP almost covered Benjamin, but Alexander was playing around and making MVP mad. Benjamin ended up hitting pay land to win. Because they won, MVP lost their annoying behavior when they won, but we all know that they will continue this story.
Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy
Sheamus did Sheamus things. Jeff Hardy did Jeff Hardy things. This is not a slight to both artists. This match just got the “Drew’s attention has officially shifted elsewhere” treatment. I’ve seen this TOO MANY TIMES.
Grade: C +
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?