Another week, another crap episode of Raw. Now, I will say that there were three segments and one match that were actually really great, but three hours cannot rest on three segment and a main event. There's so much wrong with Raw these days that only get worse as we get closer to WrestleMania, and that's a really bad thing. I wish I was excited for WrestleMania, but the way things are falling, I'm worried that this will be the worst WrestleMania yet, but only time will tell. Speaking of time, let's jump into this Raw and enjoy the good while trashing the bad. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Only constructive comments, nastiness is never good for anyone.
In Ring Segment > A+
The image created by KO sitting in the ring, in a suit, backward in a folding chair with the belt hanging that was perfect. People said that KO's List was perfect, but I think that the spotlight on KO the way he sat in that ring. It's like Steph in black leather on nights that she goes over-the-top-heel on everyone, simple, but a huge statement without saying a word. It's rare that the WWE put together a visual so perfectly.
KO took talking smack to a whole new level. The pipe bomb he dropped on Goldberg was top notch. There's a reason KO has been Universal Champion since summer, and he proved it right here. He really is that much better than anyone else on the show. The fans were up on him like I've not seen in a while. Yes, KO has been a heel for his whole WWE run, but he was a most beloved heel. Now, he's that asshole that screwed sweet, innocent, beloved Jericho. That he trashed Goldberg going into Fast Lane, but he didn't even have anything to say to Jericho took things to a whole new level. The slow burn of their relationship, setting up for them to face off at WrestleMania, has been wonderful, and while he spent most of this segment talking down Goldberg, so much of this segment was about KO's former friendship with Jericho.
Enzo & Cass vs Cesaro & Sheamus > B
Cass looked like he fell in the orange paint before this match. Okay, so he wasn't really as orange as Miz looks a lot, but he looked a lot darker than he usually does, and not just when he was in the ring with Sheamus.
I loved the double-team work from Enzo and Cass. It flowed well, and nothing botched. Further, Enzo landed on the apron as if the whole chain of moves was nothing for him. On the other hand, I loved how Cesaro talked to the camera and fans right there about Enzo not looking too good after their work on the outside. Some really strong moments before going to commercial. Sadly, after the commercial, the match was nothing to write home about. Even with the likes of Cesaro and Cass in the ring, there was little of interest for the rest of the match. It was also the start of the downslide of this episode of Raw.
Winners – Enzo & Cass
Backstage Segment > A
KO is on point tonight! He's taken being a heel to a whole new level. Just wow!
Backstage Segment > F
Reigns is so boring, so put him in a match against The Club? There's so much wrong with this! The worst part is that Reigns took out The Club by himself last week, and I remember none of it. Proof that it wasn't memorable from last week, and nothing I want to see this week.
The Brian Kendrick vs Akira Tozawa > B-
TBK has personality, and I love it. He's so much more than the boy he was when he was with the WWE previously. He's vicious, passionate, and knows how to work the mic. I'm shocked I'm saying this, but his time in TNA seemed to help a lot! He really seemed to find himself there.
Now, I wish this had actually been a match, not TBK being a cranky little boy, but it's all for the storyline, and I hope it builds to something really solid at WrestleMania.
Winner – N/A
Backstage Segment > B
Okay, TBK is acting like a bit of a whiny bitch, but hey, it's at least character, passion, and solid mic work. That's so much more than SD can say about Crews!
Reigns vs The Club > D+
That was a heck of a lot of nothing. Honestly, I would have failed this segment completely, but one move looked stellar. That spear was epic! Reigns is growing, I just wish he was growing with more moves, not just following Orton and using his big move on someone coming off the corner. That last spear was beautiful, and the only reason I didn't fail this match.
Winners via DQ – The Club
In Ring Segment > B+
That red dress on Lana was amazing! Even better was the Russian hacking joke. Being that Trump is a close friend of McMahon's, I was a bit shocked at the joke, but not everything they do can be pro-Trump. Heck, they need to do something to counteract Linda being appointed by Trump! But I really loved what New Day had and Lana stole. It was a very cute moment punctuated by a political joke. For the WWE, that's highly intelligent writing from the WWE!
New Day vs Rusev & Mahal > D+&B+
Boring! And why is Rusev getting pinned at every turn. Rusev is so much better than he's been booked. It's like his feud with Reigns is over and Rusev is back to jobbing. Now Mahal, I'm fine with him jobbing, but Rusev is so much better than this. Further, the best part of this match happened outside the ring, between Lana and Woods. They were comic genius, and the match was secondary, if that.
Winners – New Day
Cruiserweight Contract Signing > A-
“Tea and crumpets!” is a chant I've never heard before. Even when Santino had his tea party in the ring and about brought the house down with giggles. I love Jack, and Neville has taken things to a whole new level.
I wasn't at all interested in another contract signing, even with The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived in the ring, but the way the table was set up brought me into the vibe of it all. Jack was as great as ever, and really put Neville on notice heading toward Fast Lane. I'm interested in seeing them work together in a Cruiserweight Championship Match, and more interested after seeing this signing.
Nia Jax vs Jobber > D
I know the WWE wants to keep Nia in the public eye as we are heading toward WrestleMania, but wish such a small Women's Division on Raw, it's hard to do without jobbers. But when the fans are coming together with “Let's go Jobber!” chants, they are obviously over Nia's squash matches.
Winner – Nia Jax
In Ring Segment > D+
Nia came off eloquent, but not interesting. The WWE hasn't done every well by Nia. Her ring gear sucks, making he look lumpy and nowhere near as beautiful as she is in reality. The words she had to say were boring and uninspired. I need to look back at her time in NXT, see if she could talk there. I think she could be very dynamic on Raw with only a couple little tweaks.
Video > A
Black History Month video about Obama. The Superstars spoke wonderfully about Obama, and the fans in attendance really seemed to love the video as much as I did.
On the other hand, while it was Presidents Day, I have to admit that McMahon, being so close to Trump, and being such a staunch republican, would put out a Black History Month piece on Obama. There's a lot of people who could have been put out there, but they went with Obama, and I find that very strange knowing what we know about McMahon.
In Ring Segment > B+
Bayley is adorable in the ring with the strap, but, of course, Steph had to go out there and cause issue with it all.
Sasha was lovely, but, of course, Charlotte had to go out there and cause issues with it all.
This was a great segment, other than Charlotte. Of course Steph was a total ass, but that's one of the things she's best at, and she really sold it, especially in those black above-the-knee leather boots. When she came out in those boots, I knew Steph was going to be an all out meanie to Bayley. The segment was quite solid, other than when Charlotte was talking. The best was Bayley's selling of her angst and worries, only to totally shoot Steph down in the end. That was solid work from Bayley, and proved that she's more than just a fan now living her dream, she's a solid actress with some range. Hopefully this means that she won't end up being a female Cena in ten years!
This segment gave me hope that the show was picking up again, which it more than needed after all the crap they'd been giving us since the amazing opening segment.
Sasha vs Charlotte > A-
I love watching (almost) all the women on Raw and SmackDown work the ring, but there's something about Sasha and Charlotte in the ring together that always makes for the best of matches. They put it all out there, and do that more than most because they have the talent to do so, the physicality to make it look great, and chemistry like few others.
Charlotte with the leg scissors hold on Sasha where she kept her on the mat, and flipper Sasha, slamming her to the mat with each summersault, was downright beautiful. I know Charlotte is a wonderful competitor in the ring, but things like that take matches to a whole new level. Sasha and Charlotte always pull out innovative moves and creative ways to do things to make them seem new all over again. I know they cannot feud forever, but their matches are always stupendous.
Winner – Sasha
Backstage Segment > B+
Sami on mic is so hygge. (Look it up!)
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn > B+
There was no way there would be a clean match here. We all knew that either Joe or Jericho would attack and cause issues. Actually, I don't expect to see Jericho until Fast Lane, and Joe attacking before the match seems to be his modus operandi of late.
I was hoping for another great match between these two, but Joe took that from us. KO looked great out there, as he always does, and his returned mean streak made quick work of Sami.
Winner – KO
Backstage Segment > A-
Foley talking to Steph the way he did was fantastic. He didn't take any crap from her. We all knew that this would devolve, but I didn't expect Foley pushing back so pointedly and loudly.
Steph's face was downright fantastic! But threatening Foley with an 'accident' was a shocker to me. That being said, that could be a great way to write him off TV for a while so he can have surgery. I just worry that Trip will injure Foley in the process. I know Trip is one of the safest Superstars in the ring, but there's actual bad blood between him and Foley, and that's when things can go awry, even if they're trying not to follow their emotions.
Backstage Segment > B
No way that this wasn't taped earlier. They sent Cole backstage to make it look real, but I highly doubt that this segment was live. It's easier to tape something like this earlier, than in the moment. Further, this segment was so over-scripted that I wanted to change the channel. Nothing to do with Heyman, but everything to do with Brock doing the only thing he's been able to do well in the WWE – stare, glare, not talk, not wrestle, not work at all.
But, I have to mention, because I made such a big deal of it with KO, the way they set up this scene was another bit of genius. Now, after Brock came to the camera and sat down glaring, I stopped watching, because I truly dislike the man. Not Brock Lesnar the wrestler or MMA fighter, I loath Brock Lesnar the man, and the last thing I want to watch is a man I despise as he tries to stare through my soul through my TV.
Big Show vs Strowman > A-
What a way to end a Raw! Big Show looks amazing, and weighed in at two pounds less than Strowman! He's not been that thin since his start in WCW, and he looks amazing. It shocking to see that both Big Show and Mark Henry have waists that haven't been seen in the twenty years they've been in the industry on TV. While Henry didn't look great in the ring with Strowman last week, Big Show looked top notch, and the match even garnered chants of, "This is awesome!" And it really was an awesome match. A number of us in the Raw Open Thread Discussion completely forgot that this match was scheduled, didn't think it should be the main event, and really weren't looking forward to the match happening at all, and it was a beautiful main event to cap off another (mostly) piss poor Raw.
I was really pissed when Reigns came to the ring to attack Strowman after the match was over. Reigns needs to find a feud more on his level, something to give him some actual credibility in the eyes of the fans. Even though Strowman is a monster, the fans are really starting to love him, and they wanted to see him destroy Reigns, which he did, possibly in reality. I've not seen or heard anything today, so maybe Reigns only had a stinger, but he was holding his arm after Strowman's drop kick landed on Reigns' arm. Reigns continued cradling his arm and shoulder when Strowman lifted him and slammed him to the mat. Strowman's face said that he knew his feet had landed on Reigns' arm than his torso. While I hope Reigns isn't injured, I would like it he wasn't scheduled into a big role, or any role at all, going into WrestleMania and the follow-up. I just need a breather from Reigns. A couple weeks minimum. I also don't think I'm the only one that feels that way.
Winner – Strowman
What happened after Raw was bleeping hysterical! Fans in attendance at Raw sent out tweets and photos of what was happening after Raw went off the air. The problem being was that in the confusion of it all fans online thought that AJ Lee and Paige were actually in the ring together. Once the pictures filtered out, it was obvious that it wasn't actually AJ and Paige, but until then, there were so many rumors flying!
Queen of WNW