Hey yo. Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Jacksonville, FL.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with the sad news that Scott Hall, aka Razor Ramon, had passed away. I loved his Razor Ramon run as a kid. He was so cool. We truly lost a great performer. Godspeed Chico, until we meet again.
We get a replay of Kevin Owens’s challenge to Stone Cold Steve Austin with Austin’s replay accepting the challenge. We go live into the arena and Owens is in the ring bragging about what he is going to do to Austin at WrestleMania. We know that heels lie so none of that is going to happen and Austin will come out on top. The promo was solid and sold the “talk show segment” well. I can’t wait to see how it goes down.
Our opening contest has Finn Balor squaring off against Damian Priest. It wasn’t announced as a Championship Contender’s match but does it really matter? The match was okay but suffered from a lack of time and a poorly placed commercial break. It was a nice touch by Priest with the Razor’s Edge like move on Balor to the announce table. Somebody needs to bring that finisher back. It is one of my all-time favorite finishers. Captain 50/50 appears in the form of Austin Theory to distract Balor so Priest could win, although we all knew he’d be getting a title rematch at Mania anyway. This was just all a formality, I guess.
Vince McMahon got excited next with “the Battle of the Giants” with Omos taking on Commander Azeez. It was short, thank god. Omos really needs to bump once in a while. The bumping makes Azeez look credible. Omos wins and palms Apollo Crews by the head to beat him up too. Poor Apollo.
Liv Morgan takes on Queen Zelina next. Stop me if you’ve seen this booking before. Morgan wins after hitting Oblivion on Vega. It looks like the Vega/Carmella partnership is also heading towards Oblivion at WrestleMania. I don’t know which face team to pick yet.
They replay the MSG video and Brock Lesnar’s appearance on Smackdown to kill some time.
Seth Rollins had been in the ring for a while (commercial break and Lesnar package) waiting for Promo Time. Rollins invited Kevin Owens to the ring. Rollins figured out how to get to WrestleMania, by having his own talk show segment. He realizes that there should only be one talk show segment (um, it’s two nights but whatever) so he’ll fight Owens for the right to host Stone Cold Steve Austin. Sonya Deville randomly shows up to make the match and stipulation official for our main event. The Rollins angle is bordering on Cena/Undertaker but at least Cena called out Taker.
The Mysterios are out for tag team action against Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. This was a good basic tag match with the team on the WrestleMania card getting the win. After the match, The Miz and Logan Paul show up to jump the Mysterios, who eventually fend them off. They had shown the replay from Miz and Paul in the Cleveland Raw which Paul couldn’t even get a cheap hometown pop. That’s some impressive heel heat there.
Promo Time with Edge is next. Edge has new music which breaks the WWE streak of sucky new music. Edge cuts a great promo to introduce us to the new heel character. I was really hoping that he would get to do his old Brood entrance for WrestleMania. Oh well. AJ Styles will be back next week for the counterpoint promo.
Veer Mahaan is still coming to Raw, eventually. Somebody get this guy an Uber or something.
Bianca Belair is up next to take on Doudrop (yet again). The match was nothing really special and they’ve had better matches in the past. Belair wins again after a KOD slam in the middle of the ring. We were just showing Belair’s impressive power here. After the match, Becky Lynch appears to attack Belair and ram her into the ringpost with a chair. This gave Belair a “throat injury”.
The RK-Bro Championship Celebration is up next. It was a nice way to set the tone for the Street Profits interruption. The Street Profits say they are next in line and want their title shot at WrestleMania. This was a really good back and forth promo with Orton eventually accepting the title match challenge. Riddle and Ford get into it and they have a match next.
The Riddle/Ford match was a nice preview of what is to come at WrestleMania. Alpha Academy eventually shows up to ruin things and make the match a triple threat at WrestleMania. It should be yet another excellent match from the three teams.
A really nice tribute video played to honor Scott Hall. It’s a tear-jerker but a must-watch for any fan.
Main event time with Kevin Owens facing Seth Rollins for the right to interview Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania. This was a really good match as you would expect. They reminded me what was missing from this WrestleMania build, sign pointing! That’s why it’s felt a bit blah this year. Owens picked up the clean win, which was surprising given the rumors that Rollins is facing Cody Rhodes and there are only two more Raw’s left to make it official. It’s been strongly hinted on commentary.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins main event match was really good and worth a watch. Most of the night was dedicated to the build towards that match and carried the show.
The news of Scott Hall’s passing was a big bummer to start the show off. The tribute video was truly amazing though.
Raw just felt like they lost the cocktail napkin that the show had been booked on a half hour before they went live. It just felt off and maybe it was because of the Hall news. I’m not really sure.
You can reach me on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any comments or discussion.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.