Last week’s Raw recap was a special one, where I felt compelled to mock that show by grading every storyline like a report card.
If you noticed, they were each graded very low.
So going into Raw this week, I felt that we would get a better show as this would be the go home for the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Not only that, but the first WWE show with physical people back in an arena and able to be vocal again.
Well, we didn’t. Raw was boring and underwhelming. I would almost go as far as saying even more boring and underwhelming than last week.
Most of this show had not much to inspire me for WrestleMania. They didn’t even have Randy Orton, Alexa Bliss, or The Fiend on the show! They went through weeks of stuff and on the go home, they’re nowhere to be found.
The one thing that I absolutely loved on this show was Bad Bunny.
Bad Bunny cut the promo of his life. It was incredible.
Miz and Morrison destroyed the Bugatti Bad Bunny and Damian Priest showed up in. When Bunny returned to the vehicle, they jumped him and ran off when officials stepped in.
Bunny and Priest went to the ring, and Bunny said he just came here to follow his dreams because he loves this business. He recalled watching Raw and SmackDown with his father and brothers and he had a lot of good memories. He named dropped his favorite legends and included Booker T, as he made a song about him.
He used to consider Miz as a favorite legend, but Miz has disrespected him and his family and fans for no reason. He apologized for the Royal Rumble spot, but said he was caught up in the moment. Miz doesn’t respect him. But at WrestleMania, he’s gonna show Miz how to respect him.
Damian Priest made the match officially a tag team match.
Hell yes. Beat Miz’s ass, Bad Bunny. This promo got me excited for a match. Legitimately one of the only things on the whole show. I am actually hyped for this match at WrestleMania.
Let’s get to the rest of the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Drew McIntyre started the show talking about how unique his WrestleMania experience was last year. But now they’re back in business.
Both he and Lashley have had similar journeys, having traveled all the roads to their respective places in WWE, but sacrifice separates them. Even when McIntyre’s mother had chemotherapy, she told him she’d kick his ass if he came home.
Wow. This was quite a heartfelt promo from Drew. I think that was helpful in getting him cheered more on Saturday. The pivoting that they had to do between Lashley’s title win and now is a bit sad, if I’m being honest. I’ve talked before that Lashley was most definitely a babyface that night, and because they want Drew to get cheered, they had to rip apart everything that was good about The Hurt Business to ensure the crowd boos him at WrestleMania.
First Lashley was pretty much babyface with MVP and Cedric and Shelton by his side as tag champions. A week later, tag champions no more, and dissension. Dissension led to break -up, and the former members getting singles matches with Lashley. Then, he needed help while saying he didn’t need help. It’s been a rocky road, and not the good kind.
Corbin… well let’s just say Corbin is a dreadful talker. Dude’s good in the ring, and I’ve never taken that away from him.
So Corbin and McIntyre fought in the main event of the show, and Corbin hit a really nice superplex from the top rope for a near fall. The Deep Six also got a near fall. MVP gave Corbin his cane to attack Drew, but Drew ducked it and delivered the Claymore Kick to win.
Lashley and Drew did the classic stare down to close the show.
The two words I have are the same I used in my opening remarks – boring and underwhelming. The promo at the start of the show was good! Nothing else was a hit with me. Nothing. This match was very long, and I didn’t even pay attention to most of it. We all knew what was happening.
Baron Corbin is a good dude in the ring, as I said before. I just don’t care about any of this. Twenty minutes? Twenty? All this accomplished was wasting time. I want to be more excited for this, but I’m just not.
And that’s mainly because I’d rather have Lashley retain, and I’m sure he won’t. The booking getting muddied after his title win just made this whole thing feel underwhelming. Drew is a great guy and his coronation last year got ruined, and I do genuinely feel bad for him.
But it’s really Bobby Lashley’s time now.
Braun Strowman said he’s had to deal with people bullying him his entire life over their perception of who he is.
What Shane McMahon doesn’t understand, is that he can run his mouth all he wants, but at WrestleMania he’s fighting for everybody that’s ever been told they’re not good enough.
McMahon came out and asked Strowman and applauded him for the idea of a steel cage match. On paper this match favors Strowman, but a McMahon can always one up and outwit someone like him.
Yeah so… who gives a shit?
Braun Strowman was bullying Adam Pearce just months ago, and now Braun Strowman is fighting for those who have been bullied and called stupid? Remember when Braun literally shoved Adam down for saying words he misunderstood?
Does WWE even remember that?
This all began because Shane told Braun he couldn’t be in the Elimination Chamber. Suddenly Braun felt like the McMahon kid had something against him. And then the McMahon kid called him stupid.
Miraculously that made Braun the babyface here. What a weird way to present Braun, but then again, I’m not surprised by anything anymore. Braun was ready in 2017 during his feud with Roman Reigns. He was gifted a Universal title win last year.
So Braun had a match with Elias and Jaxson Ryker after that. All it served was to wear Braun down so that Shane would be able to slide in and get an easy victory at WrestleMania. It didn’t work. Strowman won easily.
This was supposed to get me hyped for WrestleMania.
Did they co-exist?!? (Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Asuka and Rhea Ripley)
They immediately started the match not co-existing. Ripley let Asuka take Baszler on until she felt like tagging in. Then she got in the ring with Jax and immediately tagged out. After a facebuster to Jax, Asuka tagged Ripley back in. At this point we got the classic Reginald part of every women’s match and Baszler took advantage to take her knee out, while Jax pushed Ripley into the apron. Baszler stomped on her ankle and Ripley sold that well. The heels isolated her in their corner. Asuka then decided to hesitate tagging in, but did and German suplexed Baszler for a two count. All of a sudden Rhea knocked Asuka off the turnbuckle and tossed her back into the ring for Baszler to pick up the win.
They did not co-exist. Shocker. The announcers really were so dumb with this crap. Byron said “Rhea is attacking her tag team partner” and like… yeah no shit Sherlock. None of this was necessary. They really just went into the Sasha/Bianca booking notes and replayed it for us. This was supposed to get me hyped for WrestleMania.
Riddle defeated Mustafa Ali
Ali and Riddle both had a great sense of urgency. Riddle tried a triangle submission quickly, and Ali had a nasty drop kick to Riddle’s face. Riddle sent Ali flying out of the ring. Riddle got distracted by Sheamus’ hat because… yeah. Riddle got momentum after the break and did some forearms to Ali and hit the Bro-ton. Ali countered a pin and Riddle reversed it. Ali went for the tornado DDT and Riddle countered into the Bro Derek to win. I was kind of hoping Ali would either win or attack after the match to get inserted into the match at WrestleMania, but nope. This match was pretty good.
Bobby Lashley defeated Cedric Alexander
Shelton Benjamin and Alexander attacked Lashley before the match, but it didn’t do much. Lashley took out Benjamin, and then tossed Alexander all over the place and suplexed him. Lashley sent Alexander into the post and Ced is just great at selling for the big man. Lashley sent Alexander outside the ring like five times throughout this match. Alexander got some momentum and dove outside the ring twice to send Lashley into the barricade. It didn’t have much effect, because Lashley put Cedric in the Hurt Lock and won. It’s really a shame that all of these men were vocal about not wanting to do this, but Vince made them do it anyway. Everyone saw that breaking up this group was a bad idea.
Xavier Woods defeated AJ Styles
Riddle had himself quite a promo before this match, with loads of references to some recreational activity. Sadly, this promo was about just as long as the match. Kingston threw a microphone at Omos and dove into the ring to get away from him. Styles got flustered from it and Woods rolled him out for the win. There was literally no reason for this. This was supposed to get me hyped for WrestleMania.
What are your predictions for WrestleMania 37, Cagesiders?