Welcome to the WWE Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Tulsa, OK.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with Promo Time with Becky Lynch. Lynch talks about her recent challengers in Liv Morgan and Bianca Belair. Lynch then brings up her next challenger Doudrop. This brings Doudrop out to tell Lynch that she messed up picking her in last week’s triple threat match to face her. Belair comes out next to announce that she is entering the Royal Rumble. Morgan shows up to also announce herself for the Royal Rumble. Cue the obligatory fight between these four like they had a tag match scheduled. Oh wait.
The bell rings to start the tag match and it should have been better than it was. They talked for so long, they only had three minutes (yeah, I know) with Doudrop fumbling the finish. Lynch went to cover Morgan after a Manhandle Slam so Doudrop squashed both of them with a splash. Doudrop dragged Lynch to the corner and forgot to physically tag herself in, so she had to go back out and tag Lynch to cover Morgan for the win. It makes Doudrop look like a contender for the title, as she should be, but we all know she isn’t winning.
A quick announcement confirms that the Elimination Chamber PLE will come to us on February 19th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Probably not the best optics but at least it’ll be on a Saturday.
The Kevin Owens show is up next with guest Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Rollins talks about his match with Roman Reigns for the Universal Title at the Royal Rumble. Rollins said that when he wins the title, he’ll be bringing it back home to Monday Night Raw. That’ll be interesting. Owens declares himself for the Royal Rumble and when he wins, he and his best friend Rollins will tear the house down at WrestleMania. Damian Priest finally interrupts the love fest and his scheduled match with KO is next.
We are reminded that Veer Mahaan is coming to Raw. Somebody get this man a properly calibrated GPS to help find his way here. Maybe he’s hooked up with Emmalina along the way?
Priest’s match with Owens starts. It was a really good match with a lot of back and forth. Owens was a good opponent choice for Priest and Owens made him look good. Owens was probably his toughest opponent to date. In a surprise, Owens pulled out a crafty heel victory after faking an injury, making Priest lower his guard. It was Priest’s first singles loss since joining the red brand. This likely will lead to an Owens/Priest US Title match in the near future. I think Priest would get his win back then.
The Alpha Academy Graduation Ceremony is up next. This was to celebrate their kinda surprising tag team title win last week. I’m happy that Alpha Academy won the match. I just figured that they would have held it back a couple of weeks. Gable presented Otis with a diploma for reaching his true potential. Riddle shows up to give a graduation speech to which Gable counters is a rematch request. Gable said that RK-Bro could get their rematch if they can successfully complete the Alpha Academy academic challenge. Otis went to confront Riddle so Orton could RKO Gable to accept the rematch challenge. The academic challenge could prove to be quite humorous so we’ll have to wait and see how they do it.
Back to in-ring action with Finn Balor taking on Austin Theory. This was not a pretty match. A poorly placed commercial break cut about half of the match from being televised. Theory won relatively easily after the break. Why must we be jobbing Balor out? I get that Theory needs some big wins, but why can’t the 24/7 Job Squad take a couple of weeks away from their pursuits to help build Theory up?
Rhea Ripley squares off against Nikki A.S.H. next. The former tag team partners broke up last week to turn Nikki heel because why not? She could never recover from getting obliterated by Charlotte Flair’s golden shovel. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Queen Zelina and Carmella show up because they’re all that’s left in the tag division. The match never gets going with Nikki beating Ripley up before the match could start. Nikki really needs to find her Sanity.
Reggie faces Omos next. In the wise words of R-Truth, Dana told Reggie to go get got. And he did. Moving on.
The Beth Phoenix and Maryse Face to Face was up next. Maryse was alone in the ring and Edge came to ringside with Phoenix. Maryse doesn’t want to get got (thanks R-Truth) so the match should just be called off. Phoenix declined and wanted to give Maryse a preview of how the Glam Slam looks. Miz tried to jump Edge, who was ready but Maryse pulled out the old brick loaded purse trick to drop Phoenix. Hopefully, this will be the last match between these four. It hasn’t gotten any better.
We need to get more people on the show so let’s have an eight-man tag with the Mysterios teaming with the Street Profits to take on Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Apollo Crews, and Commander Azeez. This was a pretty fun action-packed tag match. There was quite a bit of good talent in the ring and Azeez, who can at least bump believably. I still have no clue how Montez Ford gets so high on those frog splashes and make them so picture perfect. Ford picked up the win for his team.
There was a fantastic video package to hype the Bobby Lashley/Brock Lesnar WWE title match next. It was a really good career retrospective on both men, leaving out Lashley’s TNA run. Seriously, go watch it.
Miz announces next week that he will host a birthday party for Maryse on Raw. Let’s start taking bets on who is going to be going into the cake.
Oh look, Alexa Bliss is back still doing her creepy Lilly worshiper character. Let’s hope Lilly taught her how to bump in the ring.
Main event time with Seth Freakin’ Rollins taking on Bobby Lashley. Lashley’s night started off on the wrong foot with what appeared to be a pyro malfunction for his entrance. The match itself was pretty good but we know that neither man can afford the loss here. So, how shall we rectify this? Let’s have Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin jump Lashley to cause a DQ finish. Lashley then can destroy them so the Usos can sneak attack Rollins to close out the show.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
In-ring action wise, the eight man tag was probably the highlight of the night. It was pretty good for the time they were given. Priest/Owens wasn’t too shabby either.
The Lesnar/Lashley career retrospective video was amazing. This is one area the WWE excels in and that is their video packages. If you did not catch it, go look for it.
The rest of the show was pretty ho-hum. Lots of talking and very little action. There’s still one more Raw before the Rumble, but this felt like that show. Let’s hope things are better next week.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.