Well guys, it looks like Vince McMahon’s found a new “corporate champion.” Charlotte Flair.
I’m not sure I really have an opinion of the move, yet. It’s neither good nor bad; I’ll have to see how it plays out in the coming weeks. The only strong opinion I have is annoyance at how quickly Becky Lynch’s inner turmoil on her identity is about to be swept under the rug.
The show started with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon apologizing to Lynch. Triple H in particular got a bit nasty with her on SmackDown Live and they commended her for going to see a doctor. They were willing to clear her for her WrestleMania match, too, as long as she worked with them in good faith and apologized for her actions as well.
…Which makes sense, right? Hell, you don’t even have to mean it. Just smirk and say “sorry.” South Park even did an episode on this! BP oil spill, anybody?! This shouldn’t have even been a dilemma!
The Man apparently doesn’t apologize, however, and she struggled all show to figure out what she was going to do. Finn Balor had a talk with her backstage, too, doing his best Uncle Iroh impression. “I’ve seen pride fell many a man, Prince Zuko, but don’t let pride fell THE Man…”
Also, Finn? You’re an idiot for your “biding your time” line in this segment.
Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss also got into Lynch’s face backstage, each trying to convince her of what to do. And in the end, Lynch did the logical thing. She clarified that she didn’t trust either of them, but nevertheless apologized.
And then Vince McMahon appeared and made her initial fears a reality. Vince slapped her with a 60-day suspension that would keep her out of WrestleMania and replaced her with Charlotte.
On the surface, I think this is good. Lynch is going to be enraged at this point, and I’d imagine the Stone Cold comparisons are only going to get stronger in her quest to get reintroduced into the match. With that said, I’ve got huge expectations for this feud moving forward. Lynch is going to have to carry Raw for the next two months if it’s going to be an entertaining show.
No pressure, Man.
A lost show
Can we take a moment to see how short-handed Monday Night Raw is these days? Seth Rollins is the latest victim of the injury bug, of course, but this show’s also missing Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Roman Reigns, and a champion who shows up on a weekly basis. That’s an entire upper card, folks, and I think we all need to remember that.
Sound fair? Cool, because here’s another completely fair thing to say: THIS IS WRESTLEMANIA SEASON AND THAT’S ALL YOU GOT?!
I’m struggling to figure out what to say. WWE needed to eat some time on this three-hour show, what with Lynch and Rollins unable to wrestle. So they turned to Balor and Drew McIntyre. Sounds great so far, right?
Well those two aren’t in a story, you see, so we need to get all the hands involved. WWE added Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush at ringside and turned this singles match into a six-man tag match with Braun Strowman, Kurt Angle, and Baron Corbin all getting involved. I saw this coming as soon as Lashley was at ringside and what followed was a mess.
Balor and Angle got beaten up for about 30 minutes and we got a stupid match restart after the ref missed Balor’s leg being on the rope. You know what it reminded me of, actually? The Alliance of American Football league started their season this past weekend and there was this video floating around Twitter of an AAF official watching a replay and reversing a call made on the field. The AAF was applauded for the transparency of their process and I’d bet so much money someone in WWE saw this and wanted to replicate it. That bugs me.
Who…who benefits from this stuff? Balor, maybe? But even then, we’re eight weeks from WrestleMania and yet again the coolest, most buzzworthy thing about Balor hasn’t even been touched on in the story. Meanwhile the other men in this match are just spinning their wheels. This was nearly an hour of the show and nothing happened.
I want to pull my hair out!
The Revival def. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode – The Revival just won the freaking tag team titles in a match buried in the middle of the third hour with no real promotion. And you want to tell me tag team wrestling matters on Mondays? Lol
Their promo afterwards got no reaction and immediately bled into Lynch reappearing. I feel so bad for The Revival. They deserve more than this.
Nia Jax and Tamina def. Sasha Banks and Bayley, The Riott Squad – The story here is that Bayley needs more help from Banks. Now, they’re screwed because they’re starting the chamber match. That’s fine. The biggest issue with this entire tag team Elimination Chamber match is that I don’t buy the “Samoan Slaughterhouse.” I don’t buy them at all.
Elias hit Kalisto with a guitar – Elias was entertaining but the Lucha House Party is still not clicking for me. They were not great on the microphone and Cole said that the trio “love to have fun” and let’s be honest – that’s a kiss of death.
Ruby Riott def. Nikki Cross – Riott’s facing Rousey in a week. Yeah, I’d forgotten too.
Charlie Caruso is awful – She’s not a good journalist. Her questions are clearly meant to instigate and Becky telling her “none of your damn business” is the right answer for any wrestler ever to Caruso.
Rollins took six F-5’s and is still here – You sound like Balor, Seth. Moral victories are stupid. Someone step to this meathead and kick his ass, please.
”Architect of your own demise” is a good line though. Gotta give Heyman props for that.
Dean Ambrose def. EC3 – Don’t expect a storyline explanation for Ambrose suddenly being cool with Rollins again. He’s wacky, remember? Also, don’t expect EC3 to talk which is, you know, his biggest strength.
I fixed myself a stiff drink for hour three because this show was boring and I needed to feel something. Yes, I’m a healthy, functioning adult. No mom, I’m fine.
It’s not a failing grade because there’s at least a glimmer of hope. But WWE needs to start taking chances and making this show matter on the way to WrestleMania. The Demon needs to start being reintroduced. Lashley and Rush need to evolve their act again. Strowman needs to break things. Those sorts of things.
Because otherwise, why are we even here?